LATEST UPDATES » Vol 26, Nos. 09 & 10, September & October 2022 – Toxins and Medicines – Two Sides of the Same Coin       » Utilising Metal Nanoparticles as Plant Growth Regulators to Improve Crop Yield       » Remedy or Poison? How Microplastics Influence Copper Ion Toxicity in Aquatic Plants       » Synthesising Schiff Base Antimicrobial Copper Complexes With Unprecedented Speed       » Enhancing the Understanding of Past Infections With Machine Learning       » Mini, Cellular Bioweapons: Understanding the Structure and Mechanism of Stinging in Sea Anemone Nematocysts       » Converting Dead Spiders Into Gripping Tools
Vol 26, Nos. 09 & 10, September & October 2022   |   Issue PDF view/purchase
Toxins: A Double-Edged Sword

When I was an undergraduate, I remember sitting in the lecture theatre, astounded by the natural world as my professor taught us how we can utilise animal toxins for medicines. For a long time, I thought we only endeavoured to find antidotes to toxins. My naïve self would never have thought this possible. We learnt that toxins from the most obvious and least expected animals could be used to develop therapeutic drugs.

For example, did you know the duck-billed platypus, a textbook example of an egg-laying mammal, is also one of the few venomous mammals? When stung, the platypus’ venom can cause immediate, excruciating pain. Yet, scientists have found that its venom contains a hormone that could potentially be used to treat diabetes.

Even toxins from cone snails and frogs may be used to develop analgesics or cancer drugs. Who would’ve thought?

When planning this year’s editorial calendar, I find myself thinking back to this class a lot and would like to explore this topic a little further.

In this issue, we look at toxins from the natural world and consider its benefits to humanity despite the negative connotation.

First up, we have a contribution from Vanessa Lunardi on snake venoms in venom therapy. Then Tara Ng dives into plant secondary metabolites, its properties, and potential applications.

While not wholly related to venom therapy, Chang Wei and Dr Mohd Redzwan Sabran from the University of Putra Malaysia, discuss a family of fungal toxins called aflatoxins, its toxic effects, and how probiotics might have aflatoxin-reducing properties.

Evidently, toxins are a double-edged sword and what effects we reap from it depends on how much of it we’re exposed to. I hope these articles will shed a light on how we can overturn toxins into something useful and in cases where we can’t, we find solutions to combat its adverse effects.

In other news, some cool research highlights we have this issue include using metal nanoparticles to support plant growth in heavy metal-contaminated areas, converting the bodies of dead spiders into gripping tools for micro-sized objects, and designing iron oxide nanoparticles that can brush, floss, and rinse your teeth for you.

Carmen Chan
You can reach me at [email protected]


You can always access all APBN's issues on our website: www.asiabiotech.com.
Check us out at Facebook @Asia Pacific Biotech News, Instagram @asiabiotech, or follow us on Twitter @asia_biotech.


What Has Covid Ever Done for Us?
news 2022 PDA Aseptic Processing of Biopharmaceuticals Conference
news Thailand LAB INTERNATIONAL, Bio Asia Pacific, and FutureCHEM INTERNATIONAL are ready to offer the Science and Technology Industry complete solutions this September!
news Better together: registration opens for Vitafoods Asia 2022 co-located with Fi Asia in October
news 2022 PDA Pharmaceutical Manufacturing & Quality Conference

About Us
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Contribute to APBN
Advertise with Us
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   [email protected] or Ms Carmen Chan
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   [email protected]
Copyright© 2022 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy