Recently, scientists at Utah University have taken great interest in studying about an animal called a Conus geographus.
These predatory snails release venom which stuns their prey by decreasing their blood sugar levels. This is because the venom contains insulins that act swiftly and the prey suffers hypoglycemia.
The same research team studied this animal in the laboratory back in 2016. It was discovered that this venom can be detected by the hormone receptors in humans, thus it can be injected into patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes.
The insulin found in cone snails does not contain the elements found in human insulin.
This venom can be used to produce high-quality insulin that can improve the treatment of diabetes. The researches thought that this new type of insulin produced by these cone snails is highly effective.
However, there were some issues faced when scientists tried to modify the insulin composition so that it is fit to use in humans.
Later it was discovered that this insulin did not have the same potency as the human hormone. The researchers claimed that it had to be twenty to thirty times stronger to produce that same swift and effective effect in humans.
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The research team continued to carry out experiments, they used chemistry and structural biology techniques to study the structure and composition of the cone snail’s insulin.
During engineering a human-form of insulin, they isolated four amino acids that assisted the insulin to be detected by the receptors and they also did not add the elements which caused clumping.
They tested this insulin on animals such as rats and found that this new form of insulin worked more effectively and had the same potency as the human hormone, Scientist has declared it to be the smallest, high functional insulin and have named it ‘mini-insulin’.
Scientists have also claimed that this form of insulin can help to maintain blood-sugar levels and can also reduce the risk of hyperglycemia developing in a person.
One researcher from the University of Utah, named Danny Hung-Chieh Chou said that they have created a small molecule that acts like the swift and potent form of the hormone insulin.
Thus, it’s the world’s smallest active insulin molecule. He carried on by saying that because of its miniature size it was easy to produce on a large-scale, this could help create “a new generation of insulin therapeutics”