Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Brazilian spider bite causes erection

Scientists are hoping that a chemical from a Brazilian spider can help produce new drugs to help erectile dysfunction. A bite from the spider can give a person an hours-long erection. From LiveScience:
In Brazil, emergency room staff can immediately spot the victims of a bite from the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer). Patients not only experience overall pain and an increase in blood pressure, they also sport an uncomfortable erection.

“The erection is a side effect that everybody who gets stung by this spider will experience along with the pain and discomfort,” said study team member Romulo Leite of the Medical College of Georgia...

The spider chemical works in a different manner, affecting an earlier step in the erection process. Somehow, the toxin ups the amount of nitric oxide, which sort of sets into motion an erection. The scientists suggest that a combination of a synthetic version of the spider venom with a drug like Viagra would result in a magnified effect.

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