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Vampire bat breakthrough shows bloodsuckers could save lives

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They’re often feared for their gruesome diet and ghoulish name, but the maligned vampire bat could help revolutionise certain medical treatments.

An international research team led by The University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia, has found a new class of blood pressure-regulating peptides in the venom of the common vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata), with promisingly unique behavioural capabilities.

Previous studies have shown vampire bat venom to contain anticoagulant toxins that prevent clotting and allow a steady blood flow from their prey. These toxins, DSPA and Draculin, have helped improve treatment in stroke victims, but little was known about the remaining venom components.

UQ School of Biological Sciences researcher, Associate Professor Brian Fry, said the newly explored peptides could seriously advance treatments for a wide range of conditions, including hypertension, heart failure, kidney diseases and burns.

“The peptides........

© Asian Correspondent