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By Sarah Sharkey
You might not associate the ocean with modern medicine, but medical researchers frequently look to marine animals and plants to discover solutions to human ailments. Recently, researchers have been working to find a natural form of pain relief to help people suffering from chronic pain.
Marine snails seem to have provided an answer to searching scientists. Cone snail venom has been shown to treat pain and accelerate the recovery of the damaged nerve in animal tests. The next step is to test this venom on humans in pain. The hope is that this new discovery can help people in pain from relying on opioids to dull the chronic pain.
It is not too surprising that the answer to a human problem was found in the ocean. There are so many answers to questions being pursued and questions that have not been asked yet that will be found in the ocean. The diversity of the organisms that live in the ocean provide a wealth of natural power that has proved useful to humans in the past, and will likely continue to prove useful in the future.
It is vitally important that we protect the ocean for many reasons, but this is one reason that can serve to change the mind of even the most stubborn polluters. Hopefully, in time, they will appreciate the value of the ocean before it is too late.
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