Cone shell researcher

Cone shell researcher

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This image is part of the feature Medicine From The Sea

Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cone shell research. Researcher Barbara Furie holding a tank of cone shells (Conus sp.), venomous marine snails. The proteins (conotoxins) in their venom contain the amino acid Gla (gamma- carboxyglutamic acid) in their structures. This is involved in the blood clotting process in humans. It is hoped that the study of the biochemistry of the cone shells can provide more information on Gla's role in the snail venom and the blood clotting process. This could lead to the development of new drugs to treat clotting disorders such as haemophilia. This work is being done at the Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratory, Massachusetts, USA. Photographed in 2002.

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