Platypus venom paves way to possible diabetes treatment - BBC News
Australian researchers say platypus venom could pave the way for new type 2 diabetes treatments.
“The males of the extraordinary semi-aquatic mammal - one of the only kind to lay eggs - have venomous spurs on the heels of their hind feet. The poison is used to ward off adversaries. But scientists at the University of Adelaide have discovered it contains a hormone that could help treat diabetes. Known as GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), it is also found in humans and other animals, where it promotes insulin release, lowering blood glucose levels. But it normally degrades very quickly. Not for the duck-billed bottom feeders though. Or for echidnas, also known as spiny anteaters - another iconic Australian species found to carry the unusual hormone. Both produce a long-lasting form of it, offering the tantalising prospect of creating something similar for human diabetes sufferers.”