Sampling tiger snakes for venom bank

STUDY MATERIAL: Tiger snakes are among the species currently being sampled for venom for Australia’s first venom bank. The bank will be available to scientists researching venom and its derivatives.

AUSTRALIA’S first publicly available venom bank has been established by the Arthur Rylah Institute and the University of Melbourne’s Australian Venom Research Unit.

It will contain samples from some of Australia’s most venomous wildlife to help Victorian scientists explore the medical potential of venom.

ARI senior scientist Nick Clemann said most Victorian snakes are venomous, as is the male platypus and many invertebrates, but there is limited knowledge about the venom of these animals.

“Establishing a bank of specimens for researchers will enable them to investigate their potential use in medical and taxonomic research,” Mr Clemann said.

“Ultimately we aim to have as many venomous species as possible in the collection, including snakes, spiders, scorpions and the blue-ringed octopus.

“Each specimen will have a matching sample of its own venom stored.”

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