A lot of untapped resources in our great planet. These reserves are located in pristine places, full of weird and wonderful organisms that we know very little. The world ocean and the tropical rainforests of our world are the limits that come easily to mind. In these places are a high degree of biodiversity, and many of these species have developed non-traditional tactics and techniques to survive in these environments varied. The unusual group of organisms that will be addressed in this document are a genus of marine mollusc, Conus, cone snails. These snails produce a poison that has the potential for wide application in our lives. Cone snail genus comprises more than 500 species, with the type of species that Conus marmoreus, the cone snail marble. Snails are found in tropical waters, and are characterized by a cone-shaped shell, which is considered a valuable find more than a shell collector. Conus species can have 23 cm long and is carnivorous. Because they are generally slow, using a tube called a radula as the harpoon toxoglossan full of venom to catch its prey. This weapon is fired from barbed mouth into the fast-moving prey. When a dam or other fish is beaten, you are paralyzed by the poison and the harpoon is retracted into the mouth with the victim. The strength of the injection of a harpoon is such that has the ability to drill a wetsuit, and the poison can cause death in humans, although this is not always the result of an attack. The poisons found in members of Conus peptides and gender are called conotoxins. The vast majority of them are neurotoxic, which impair the function of receptors of the nerves, causing paralysis followed by death. A large percentage of cone snails also has an element of the poison that reduces the pain of a victim it feels to be beaten by barbed proboscis. Painkiller is in this medical application of this toxin might lie. This is due to factors that the molecule whose activity relieves the pain in these cone snail venom works to prevent the communication of pain signals from nerve cells in the brain by blocking the calcium channels in nerve cells. The properties of these poisons were discovered in the 1960's by Dr. Baldomero Olivera, a pioneer in the field, but the technology needed to use his discovery was not available until much more recently. Medical researchers have long been looking ways to relieve patients' pain during periods of prolonged illness, during surgery, or later during the recovery period, when levels of pain can often be higher. Morphine first commonly used during the Civil War to ease the pain of the wounded soldiers, but doctors have been looking for an alternative to most of the time, citing the fact that it is addictive and can be destructive in large quantities or after long periods of use. Other commonly used analgesics include codeine and aspirin. Codeine is facing the same problem as morphine, as it has an addictive nature and tends to lead to chemical dependency in which you are not careful. Aspirin is a widely prescribed analgesic because of its "effectiveness, but it is a blood thinner and has many potential side effects. The ideal analgesic for researchers not yet arrived, but the discovery of these properties in cone snail venom leads scientists to believe they may have found what they have long been looking for. A painkiller called Prialt, or ziconotide, has been derived from and omega-conotoxin from the venom of Conus by Elan Pharmaceuticals, and was approved by the FDA in December 2004. It is derived from the venom of Conus magus, the magician's cone snail. Prialt is useful in cases where the patient can not tolerate morphine treatment or when the pain is such that a safe dose of morphine is not enough. This medicine is given as an injection directly into the cerebrospinal fluid of the patient. As these analgesics often based poison 1,000 times more powerful than existing resources are used in the treatment of extreme chronic pain, as experienced by cancer patients. (Olivera in the sea snail ") Prialt has also been found in trials that non-addictive in nature, giving it a leg up on most of the pain now for hospitals around the world . Another sea snail hosts a trade potentially useful analgesic is C. victoriae, the cone snail Australia. ACV1 (analgesic component of Venom) has been isolated from the Conus by Professor Bruce Livett and is now in clinical trials of drug metabolism. One of the drawbacks of this exciting new medical frontier is that many of these species are rare and therefore difficult and expensive to obtain and use. It is critical that the populations of these snails is conserved and that the poison is extracted from the least destructive to not endanger these special creatures and the planet's biodiversity is maintained. In addition to snails, corals and sponges have been explored for use in this sense too, but the general consensus is that Conus has a bright future. "These snails are the designers of pharmaceuticals on the nature of drugs. And with Prialt really only touching the tip of the iceberg surface of what they can do. "This quote by Dr. Jon-Paul Bingham told the BBC, embodies the spirit of the scientists working on this new discovery . The applications of poisons over 500 different species, with more than 100 different toxins from venom is potentially enormous. Currently there are drugs in clinical trials for treating Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. With each new discovery that takes place in the future of pain relief becomes more and more encouraging, but I hope that someday we can say that the future of pain is nonexistent. References Gayler, K. et al. "Molecular prospecting for drugs from the sea." Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine. 24.2 (March-April 2005): 79-84. IEEE Xplore. November 28, 2006. Http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=1411352> Machalek, Alisa Zapp. "Sea Snail Venom yields new potent analgesic." The record of NIH. March 1, 2005. November 30, 2006. http://www.nih.gov/nihrecord/03_01_2005/ story03.htm> Olivera, BaldomeroM. "Conus venom peptides: Reflections from the biology of clades and species" Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 33 (November 2002). November 26 CookieSet = 1> "Pain-murderer leaves his" Shell ". The Age. July 25, 2005. December 1, 2006. Painkiller Venom running. "BBC News. July 10, 2006. November 30, 2006. Http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5165124.stm> The BiodiversityWebsite Conus. Eds. Alan J. Kohn and Trevor Anderson. National Science Foundation. November 30, 2006. http://biology.burke.washington.edu/conus/index.php>