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BRISBANE - Australian scientists are undertaking ground-breaking research into spider venom for use in medicine to fight breast cancer, Queensland Science Minister Ros Bates said Friday.
Scientists at James Cook University in Cairns in Far North Queensland will determine if venom from funnel web spiders and tarantulas can kill breast cancer cells through the research, the minister said.
Bates said the research was on the back of international studies that suggested certain toxins in spider venom could offer an untapped suite of natural molecules to kill breast cancer cells.
"With more than 40,000 species of spiders, it's estimated there are more than four million different toxins in spider venom," Bates said in a statement.
"Those toxins will now be screened, to look at their potential to treat cancer in humans."
The minister said the work being done by James Cook University researchers had cemented Queensland's place as a global scientific leader. (PNA/Xinhua)