Zinc May Prevent the Effects of Jellyfish Venom

by Owen James Burke

The Australian box jellyfish contains one of the world’s deadliest known venoms.

After being stung by a box jellyfish in Hawaii, Dr. Angel Yanagihara (University of Hawaii at Manoa) set out to discover a new remedy. Testing on both mice and humans (including herself, she admits), Dr. Yanagihara found that zinc can prevent the venoms of both Hawaiian box jellies and the deadlier Australian box jellies from creating pores in human red blood cells, which results in the leaking of precious potassium.

Traditionally vinegar has been a popular solution to ease the pain of a jellyfish sting, and some sick souls have even decided that peeing on a jellyfish sting helps the wound to heal, but something about zinc seems much more handy on the beach (it’s in most good sunscreens) and furthermore, it sounds slightly more appealing than having a friend urinate upon a sting — next time I’m stung, I think I’ll give it a try.

Thanks Seamus!

*NYT*

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