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Conotoxins

Authored by: Jon-Paul Bingham , Robert K. Likeman , Joshua S. Hawley , Peter Y.C. Yu , Zan A. Halford

Manual of Security Sensitive Microbes and Toxins

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553965
eBook ISBN: 9781466553989
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b16752-46

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Abstract

Cone snails are a group of carnivorous marine gastropods, having perfected venom needed for rapid prey immobilization. This neurotoxic cocktail is skillfully delivered using a hollow, lone, disposable radula harpoon, which is also designed to impale and tether its prey (Figure 41.1a). Armed with this combination, certain cone snail species have been responsible for human fatalities [13]. To understand their toxic nature, science has taken these highly prized snails to discover a wealth of biological materials that separate them from most other venomous organisms.

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