Does snake venom contain pathogens or chemicals?

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@zain_yousuf

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Does snake venom contain pathogens or chemicals?
« on: 26/09/2011 15:01:02 »
@zain_yousuf asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Does snakes venom consist of "living" cells/pathogens or is it a mere mixture chemical compounds?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 26/09/2011 15:01:02 by _system »

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Offline CliffordK

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Does snake venom contain pathogens or chemicals?
« Reply #1 on: 26/09/2011 17:22:38 »
Snake "Venom" would be a chemical, and is often harvested from snakes for various purposes.

However, any animal bite, including snake bites often carry with them a host of pathogens (living organisms) that can have serious secondary effects.  These pathogens would generally be slower acting than the venom, but could pose just as serious of a risk to the victim.