Data Scientists Create World’s First Therapeutic Venom Database

Open-Source Library Describes Nearly 43,000 Effects on the Human Body What doesn’t kill you could cure you. A growing interest in the therapeutic value of animal venom has led a pair of Columbia University data scientists to create the first catalog of known animal toxins and their physiological effects on humans. VenomKB, short for Venom Knowledge Base, summarizes the results of 5,117 studies in the medical literature describing the use of venom toxins as painkillers and as treatments for diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart failure. Drawn froman automated analysis of the literature, VenomKB documents nearly 42,723 effects on the body. Though modern medicine makes use of only a small fraction of the toxins documented thus far, the researchers hope that the catalog will spur the discovery of new…


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