The discovery of a previously unknown neurotoxin explains how the Australian thorn tree causes severe pain that lasts for an extremely long time. Australia is famous for its wide range of poisonous animals. From spiders and snakes to scorpions and jellyfish, the country is known for its dangerous wildlife. < / P > < p > it’s not just animals, the plants there are dangerous. . dendrocnide moroides is one of the most poisonous plants in the world. It is often called Gympie Gympie thorn tree. The plant’s toxin is unlikely to kill you, but there are many stories about the terrible pain its spines cause. < / P > < p > this pain is described by many as the most severe pain you can imagine. One researcher said being stabbed felt “like being burned and electrified at the same time by hot acid.”. < p > < p > Irina Vetter, co-author of the study, points out that the giant thorn tree is like other prickly plants, such as nettles, covered with needlelike appendages – trichomes, which are about 5 mm long. Although they look like hair, they actually act as hypodermic needles when touching the skin. < / P > < p > up to now, the pain caused by this plant has been a mystery to researchers. Experiments with small molecules known to exist in plants have failed to replicate the intense and persistent pain caused by stings. Obviously, an undetected neurotoxin must have played an important role. < / P > < p > now, in their new study, a team of researchers at the University of Queensland have found a previously unknown pain causing peptide that has a unique neurotoxic effect on the plant. The new type of microproteins is named gympietedes, which is derived from the local name of the plant, Gympie. “< p > < p > Vetter pointed out:” although gymnosperms are derived from plants, they are very similar to spider and cone snail toxins in folding into 3D molecular structures and targeting the same pain receptors – which may make Gympie Gympie trees a truly ‘toxic’ plant. ” < / P > < p > in response to this mechanism, the researchers found that these gympietedes seem to permanently alter sodium channels in sensory neurons. This is thought to explain why people who are stung by the plant experience repeated pain for months or even years after the initial sting. < / P > < p > “by understanding the mechanism of action of this toxin, we hope to provide better treatment for those who have been stabbed by this plant to relieve or eliminate pain,” Vetter added. “We may also use gympietedes as a scaffold for new pain relief therapies.” Global Tech