Iranian researchers to breed scorpion, milk venom for medical purposes

January 26, 2018

TEHRAN — A group of Iranian researchers at the Islamic Azad University of Najafabad, central province of Isfahan, succeeded in coming up with plans to maintain scorpions in captivity for venom extraction purposes, IRIB reported on Wednesday.

Currently a group of three researchers who have submitted the idea of scorpion captive breeding are growing the animals at the lab to collect scorpion venom. 

The whole project has cost some 1 billion rials (nearly $22,000) so far and the venom can be used for treatment of diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis (MS). 

Scorpion venom is a substance that has recently gone through testing to determine its possible benefits for human medicine. It seems that scorpion venom is more than a potentially dangerous defense mechanism for an arachnid. 

Current research on scorpion venom is slow going, but there are a number of medical possibilities. Some people believe scorpion venom can one day be used to cure Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. It has already been explored to help with some cases of multiple sclerosis and cancer, and to help with heart transplants. Some people hope scorpion venom will be used as a painkiller one day. 

Scorpion venom tops the list of world most expensive liquids. Scorpion venom costs $39,000,000 per gallon while human blood, valued at $1,500 per gallon, is at the bottom of the list. 

Younes Shakibzadeh, a member of the Iranian research team, has explained that scorpions live up to 7 years and in case they feed on a healthy diet they can be milked twice a year.

Such achievement would help Iranian scientist to be self-sufficient in producing scorpion venom for medical purposes in the future. 

MQ/MG

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