Not just another pretty shell, an ocean cone snail may help people with chronic nerve pain like sciatica.
Ocean cone snails are beautiful but deadly, with toxic venom that can be fatal to humans. Isolated and used carefully, certain toxins can be useful medicines for difficult tasks such as pain relief.
The new finding is a treatment for neuropathy, the nearly-untreatable chronic pain that comes from nerve injury or pressure on nerves from tumors, swelling, or back injuries.
Cone snails are fascinating creatures, they use a modified tongue as a type of "harpoon" that injects toxin into victims, so the slow-moving snails can capture and eat fast-moving prey like fish. Sounds like something from a horror movie, good thing there are no large cone snails that live on land.