Could a human be genetically engineered to produce a less fatal form of the Brazilian Wandering Spider’s Venom? I have been told that many things that insects can do do not function in humans for various reasons, so I would like to know if this could work.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ can you provide some details about this spider and its venom? not everybody knows them by heart. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Apr 14 '18 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ Two issues: venom is injected, and there has to be a an organ to create and store the venom. Thus, there would have to be significant changes to the human skull/upper jaw. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Apr 14 '18 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch oh sorry, I would rather not go into detail, because I don't know how many kids are on the site so here is a link, animalcorner.co.uk/animals/brazilian-wandering-spider $\endgroup$ – Amoeba Apr 14 '18 at 21:06

In theory, yes this would be possible.

The neurotoxin in question (PhTx3) is a peptide, which means that almost any organsim can make it as long as it has the right DNA available. One difficulty with this problem is that the neurotoxins need the correct Cystein-Cystein bonds to fold correctly, which probably also prohibits people from making them from bacteria (Description of how the toxins where obtained to analyse them).

Now to the more important part: why would you want this?

It might be relatively easy to make any human cells produce this toxin. But then you have cells that poison (over time - doesn't matter if its weaker) all the nerves around them ... Since humans don't have ability to specifically deliver this poison anywhere its not really usefull ...

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ I mean I was just gonna have it be distributed in the same method as the slow loris $\endgroup$ – Amoeba Apr 14 '18 at 21:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.