1 The king cobra’s ( Ophiophagus hannah ) neurotoxic venom is powerful enough to kill an elephant with a single bite and has been used to develop painkilling medicines for humans. Some deadly and paralytic neurotoxins usually associated with snake venoms will no longer require animal testing. Research conducted by University of Queensland (UQ) scientists and others has discovered an animal-free technique for testing toxins that will not demand euthanasia of its subjects. The research is contained in a paper published in the open-access MDPI journal Toxins on October 16. Test animals die slowly A 2003 research paper published in ResearchGate journal Toxicon ( Animal experimentation in snake venom research and in vitro alternative ) cited the following description of how lab animals are used to test neurotoxic venom: "neurotoxic activity is usually assayed by inoculating mice intravenously or intraperitoneally and registering the mortality rate due to asphyxia following paralysis of respiratory muscles". The Toxicon paper acknowledged society’s opposition to animal experimentation: "Stringent regulations governing the use of animals, limited research funds and public pressure all focus the need for progress towards non-animal, or non-sentient, research methods." Snake-venom research is conducted for various reasons, but mainly to develop antivenoms […]

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