Interesting story on ABC about the discovery of a cache of stored snake venom, originally collected by the father of Australian venom research Struan Sutherland. The two boxes of freeze-dried venom were found during the routine clean-up of a storage room. Almost all of the venoms were still active, despite some being around 80 years old.
The find is exciting and significant because it includes many venoms from now destroyed habitats and locally-extinct snake species, including some Tiger Snake venoms from the Bass Strait islands. These are particularly valuable to science because snakes on islands “follow their own evolutionary pathways”, and their venom may shed light on how snake venom has evolved.
From the medical point of view, the venoms may be the source of new drug discoveries. Read the full story.