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Home  »  ChemistryEventsNews   »   An Alkaloid from Scorpion Venom Comes as a Surprise

An Alkaloid from Scorpion Venom Comes as a Surprise


Scorpion is known for its painful sting. Relatively less known fact is that the scorpion venom, world’s most expensive liquid (~10 million USD/Liter), is enriched with many important natural products, which can fight cancer and autoimmune disorders. Recent study by Shiba’s Banerjee et al. has reported a new alkaloid from the scorpion venom, while most venom components identified in past are peptide or proteinic in nature. This news has surprised the world and recently mentioned in Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN). The study was conducted in collaboration with the laboratories of Prof. Richard N. Zare, Stanford University, and Prof. Lourival D. Possani, UNAM, Mexico. Scorpions use their venom to paralyze their prey. However, this alkaloid was not found to have insecticidal activity. The exact role of this alkaloid in the venom is still a mystery. A chemical method of synthesizing the alkaloid has also been developed. Authors suggest that this venom alkaloid might be of potential interest for evaluating its medicinal effect.