Opossums could hold the key to saving snakebite victims. Scientists have known since the 1940s that Virginia opossums possess some level of immunity to snake venom, but now the scientists have isolated the compound responsible for the opossum’s superpower. Experiments with mice have shown that the compound in the marsupial’s blood can neutralize venom. The molecule worked against several venomous snake species including rattlesnakes and viper venom. Scientists believe that the substance could be mass produced to create an inexpensive and universal anti-venom – 94,000 people die each year from snakebites.
"The mice that were given the venom incubated with the peptide never showed any signs [of being sick]," says Claire Komives, a professor of chemical engineering at San Jose State University in California. "It was like a miracle, that this peptide really has this activity." http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150323-opossums-snakes-snakebites-venom-health-world-science/