Sunday, August 1, 2021

Mouse Bites Are Potentially Venomous Like Snakes

 Mice could someday become venomous, suggests study - Big Think

In this article, the OKINAWA INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (OIST) GRADUATE UNIVERSITY, discusses the origins and molecular make up of venom, and how evidence shows mammal salivary glands and snake venom glands share a common genetic foundation.the team searched for genes that work alongside and interact strongly with the venom genes. The scientists used venom glands collected from the Taiwan habu snake from Asia. Agneesh Barua said, "The role of these genes in the unfolded protein response pathway makes a lot of sense as venoms are complex mixtures of proteins. So to ensure you can manufacture all these proteins, you need a robust system in place to make sure the proteins are folded correctly so they can function effectively.". 

It seemed that other mammals like humans, dogs, and rodents also have their own version of these genes in the same pattern. Due to this, scientists believe this supports the theory that that venom glands evolved from early salivary glands. In a few thousand years we might encounter an evolutionary event where mice and even humans are venomous and this is definitely something worth studying further for the future of our ecosystem and understanding the evolutionary effects in genetics.



  1. This is a very great post! I was completely unaware that the salivary glands of both mammals and snakes shared a common genetic foundation. Interested to see what research is done on this in the future.

  2. I find this to be very interesting. I never had known that mice would have similar salivary glands to snakes. This could lead to greater connections between reptiles and mammals, which has never really been seen before. More research can possibly show linkages between other animals/mammals as well!