Science Questions

Is mixed venom more deadly?

Sun, 5th Jul 2009

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Emilio Romero asked:

Would a mixture of different venoms, say from all the worst fish and animals in the world, be more deadly than just any given one single venom alone?


Ben -   Well, this depends on exactly what type of venom they all are.  Most venoms are actually a collection of different chemicals.  They have different effects and there’s things like phosphodiesterases which lower blood pressure.  There’s something that inhibits cholinesterase which makes you loose muscle control.  There are things that affect your nerves, that stop your heart, that actually cause your muscles to necrose or actually break down.  So yes, really, if you are to combine them all, then you’d have something that attacks every single tissue in one go, could stop your heart, stop your brain, and breakdown your muscles, and it would be terrible.


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