Puffer could help ease pain

242e089b-6517-4b45-9502-8ba8919aaa9f

Editor's Picks
Features Post
The brightest pupils
04 October 2021
Features Post
Dealing with egg ‘fungus’
04 October 2021
Features Post
Rathbun’s tetra in the wild
13 September 2021
Fishkeeping News Post
Report: 2021 BKKS National Koi Show results
13 September 2021
Features Post
The World's forgotten fishes
16 August 2021


One of the deadliest creatures in the world may be used to ease the pain of cancer patients.

One of the deadliest creatures in the world may be used to ease the pain of cancer patients.

The puffer fish produces a poison that can kill a man within hours. But Chinese scientists have managed to isolate an active ingredient of the poison, tetrodotoxin, without its deadly effects.

The result is 3000 times stronger than morphine.

It can work to ease pain for between eight and 21 days and, unlike morphine, is non-addictive and has no known side effects.

One fish can produce 600 doses of the drug, which attacks the nerve cells that send pain signals to the brain instead of numbing the senses.

The drug, to be known as Tectin, was developed by Vancouver-based International Wex Technologies after scientists in China noticed the toxin's potential as a painkiller when used to help heroin addicts through withdrawal.