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Snake venom protein could prevent blood clots
Researchers found that a protein derived from the venom of the tropidolaemus wagleri snake reduced the formation of blood clots in mice.

Discovery could lead to safer treatment for blood clots

A protein found in snake venom could lead to a safer treatment for blood clots, new research has found.

According to Medical News Today, a protein derived from the venom of the tropidolaemus wagleri snake has reduced the formation of blood clots in mice, without excessive bleeding.

The research was carried out by National Taiwan University in Taipei and published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

Current methods for reducing the formation of blood clots - such as aspirin and clopidogrel - work by preventing platelets from clumping together. Doctors prescribe these antiplatelet medications to prevent heart attack, stroke and heart disease, but a major side effect is bleeding after an injury.

It is hoped that this new discovery could pave the way to a new antiplatelet drug that is equally effective, but not cause excessive bleeding.

Trowaglerix

In previous studies, researchers found that that trowaglerx - a protein found in the venom of tropidolaemus wagleri - interacts with glycoprotein VI (GPVI) - a protein that resides on the surface of platelets - to form blood clots.

In this new study, Dr Jane Tseng and her colleagues assessed the structure of this protein and were able to create a drug that blocks GPVI activity.

When they tested the drug on mice, the mice experienced slower blood clot formation. They also didn’t bleed any longer than mice that hadn’t been treated with the drug.

Dr Tseng believes the findings suggest that trowaglerix might offer a safer, effective strategy to prevent blood clots. But she stresses that more research is needed to ascertain the safety and efficacy of the drug in humans.

"In general, this type of molecule design does not last long in the body, so techniques like formulation or delivery system are likely needed to extend the exposure time in the human body," she told Medical News Today.

“The design must also be optimised to ensure that the molecule only interacts with GPVI and not other proteins which can cause unintended reactions."

Image (C) gbohne.

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Classroom pets on the decline

News Story 1
 New research has found there are fewer pets in UK classrooms than in previous generations - despite 88 per cent of parents believing it significantly helps a child’s social skills and development.

More than half of the parents surveyed by Pets at Home (51 per cent) had a class pet as a child, compared to 46 per cent of children today.

The survey also found that non-traditional animals such as chickens, tadpoles, caterpillars and stick insects are becoming increasingly popular alternatives as classroom pets.  

News Shorts
BVA survey seeks views on surveillance

Vets who use veterinary scanning surveillance networks are being asked to complete a survey to help ensure the networks are fully able to protect animals in the UK.

‘Surveillance use, understanding and engagement across the veterinary profession’ is the first of a series of surveillance surveys that will also include localised surveys for Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Drafted by members of BVA’s Surveillance Working Group, it will run until Friday, 31 August 2017. Data collected will inform BVA’s policy position ensuring it is representative of disease surveillance across the UK.