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Sea Snail Venom

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Gay3 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 12:30pm

Racing officials suspect deadly sea snail venom used as illegal drug

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A deadly venom found in sea snails which can paralyse fish within a second has emerged as the latest chemical suspected to have infiltrated horse racing, with authorities scrambling to organise testing for the powerful painkiller.

Racing NSW and Racing Victoria integrity officials on Monday confirmed they had started screening for the mystery drug, which has subtypes known to be infinitely stronger than morphine.

It can also be extracted to be used for therapeutic purposes on humans in the form of the conotoxin-based Prialt.

Racing stewards have received intelligence that a form of sea snail venom has been imported into Australia and used to manage pain in horses suspected to have raced in both the thoroughbred and harness codes.

It is unclear in which state the latest fad is said to have emerged, but the Herald understands multiple racing authorities have been tipped off about its use and developed laboratory testing to weed out those who have dabbled in the product.

The substance is not entirely new to the industry and was understood to have been in use more than decade ago, but until recently had not again been on the radar of racing officials.

It's understood to dissolve from a horse's system very quickly and can help numb any pain before heading to the racetrack.

Sea snails are generally found in the bottom of the ocean in tropical climates.

Racing NSW said it had the ability to retrospectively test stored samples for the substance. It hasn't yet confirmed any positive swabs stemming from the chemical.

"When we get information we act on it and we have a screen for this drug now," Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'landys.

"At the moment it is not a part of the normal screening process, but we have the ability to target it and test for it."

RV executive general manager of integrity Jamie Stier confirmed his organisation had begun testing for the drug as part of its normal screening process.

Australian scientists from several universities have previously been working on developing new pain relief drugs using the chemicals from sea snail venom, which can be administered when morphine is no longer sufficient.

It has traditionally been hazardous to use on humans given the bad side effects it can induce, including hallucinations, memory loss and confusion.

But it is seen as a future alternative for pain relief given it is thought to be less addictive than opioid-based painkillers.

Researchers are hoping with more funding for trials conotoxins could be in clinical use within 10 years.

Venomous sea snails have been known to kill the nervous system of fish almost instantly before they eat their prey.

The suspected infiltration of the chemical into horse racing is the latest scourge for the industry, which earlier this year was rocked by the ban to Australia's most prolific thoroughbred trainer Darren Weir for possession of electrical shock devices.

Victorian-based Weir was rubbed out for four years and is still the subject of an ongoing police investigation.

Racing NSW stewards are also investigating the finding of human growth hormone (EPO) in a fridge at the property of Kembla Grange trainer Mick Tubman. He has been stood down from training.

NSW Police have also charged a nurse from Wollongong Hospital with the alleged theft of EPO from the hospital.

SEA SNAIL VENOM

  • Sea snail venom contains hundreds of peptides known as conotoxins, which are used to cause paralysis or death. The chemical allows the venomous snails, who are carnivorous, to prey on animals as large as fish.
  • When used in humans, the chemical produces an analgesic effect by stopping the transmission of nerve signals.
  • Only one conotoxin-based painkiller, Prialt, is currently on the market, and can only be injected into the spinal cord. The drug also has multiple side effects such as hallucinations, memory loss and confusion, limiting its use.
  • Multiple groups of Australian scientists are currently working on a safe, oral version of the drug for humans, with recent breakthroughs set to reduce the nation’s reliance on addictive painkillers.
  • In 2010, Australian scientists injected venom from the cone snail to a group of laboratory rats which resulted in a reduction in pain "100 to 500" times more effective than commonly used pain relievers such as morphine or gabapentin. Lead researcher of the study David Craik says one of the biggest advantages is that the drug uses "different receptors" in the brain in comparison to highly-addictive opioids such as morphine.
    Sarah Keoghan
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Lordy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Lordy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 1:39pm
Can't wait for the first excuse for a positive swabs. "We take our horses to the beach so must have picked it up there".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skippy123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 2:09pm
[QUOTE=Lordy] Can't wait for the first excuse for a positive swabs. "We take our horses to the beach so must have picked it up there".[/QUOT
Have to be a tropical area for that to apply...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 2:41pm
Queensland LOL
animals before people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote linghi11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 5:04pm
I’d say this miraculous snail has been everywhere! From Ballarat, Caulfield, Mornington and Euroa, to Rosehill, Warwick Farm and Randwick and Toowoomba. All those thoroughbreds who can barely canter in work and with pretrainers and then win races with their main trainers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Red Hare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 5:27pm
If the aim is for the stuff to be used on humans... what if it’s a better alternative than all of the bute & corticosteroids that everyone is so happy to use?

Would hate to stifle any advancement in vet care.

Perhaps it is because the true cheaters rarely get their comeuppance, that we are so quick to judge those that are trying to extend the boundaries.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Second Chance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 5:41pm
Originally posted by linghi11 linghi11 wrote:

I’d say this miraculous snail has been everywhere! From Ballarat, Caulfield, Mornington and Euroa, to Rosehill, Warwick Farm and Randwick and Toowoomba. All those thoroughbreds who can barely canter in work and with pretrainers and then win races with their main trainers.

No-one likes a cheat.  So by all means identify the current cheats at Ballarat, Caulfield, Mornington, Euroa, Rosehill, Warwick Farm, Randwick and Toowoomba. 

Lest you otherwise implicitly damn every trainer at those venues.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skippy123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 6:30pm
I don’t get the big deal- horses return positives to analgesics and anti inflammatories all the time and racing treats them as innocuous, they get fines for penalty....what is the difference
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Second Chance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 6:43pm
So you're just blowing the wind as expected.  Cheers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skippy123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 7:02pm
Originally posted by Second Chance Second Chance wrote:

So you're just blowing the wind as expected.  Cheers.

Not at all.. I just find it strange that people picking and choosing between such compounds when historically racing does nothing for others with a similar/same effect..
Tell me what makes this one different?
It’s (un)detectability?
That it’s seemingly ‘new’?
That it may be unregistered for use in horses? (I can list compounds that fit here)
Adverse effects?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 7:24pm
Firstly, Second Chance was replying to linghi, not you skippy.
This latest find is probably creating more of a hue & cry due to its' quoted pain killing capacity of 50 - 100 that of morphine, assuming the scientists are correct.
The stronger the pain killing effects, the more chance 'cripples' have of racing, winning & catastrophically breaking down.
The stuff has been on the performance enhancing radar 10yrs+ so I do wonder why it's taken this long for powers-that-be to announce they're testing for it Ouch



Edited by Gay3 - 09 Jul 2019 at 7:25pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skippy123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 7:38pm

No worries.... but my point does still stand- what works in humans may not in horses and vice versa... yes testing has been available for at least a decade (in horses too not just in humans) but I think peptides can be notoriously difficult to test for especially in urine.. I wonder if this new test is blood/plasma???

Edited by Gay3 - 09 Jul 2019 at 8:30pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote linghi11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 8:27pm
The difference skippy is that this is what kills horses on track. A bit lame racing - the horse saves itself. When it’s numb from these painkillers and runs like there’s no problem, the result can be quite tragic. Churning out cripples and paddock-unsound horses is not the way forward for this industry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Straight arrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 9:13pm
Been on the radar for 12/15 years
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Straight arrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 9:13pm
Not a new one
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 10:15pm
Well thats a bit sad, SA, that if you knew this gelati has been around forever but didnt say so ?   Masking pain in horses so cripples can race,,and break down,,and fall ??
How many jockeys have suffered , given this isnt a new one ?? 
Yet you are quite blaise about it ????    Confused
animals before people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Straight arrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 10:33pm
Cannot present hear say to authorities ! You should know that
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2019 at 11:59pm
Ummmmm,,,,????   No I dont  ???
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Batman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 3:05am
Originally posted by linghi11 linghi11 wrote:

I’d say this miraculous snail has been everywhere! From Ballarat, Caulfield, Mornington and Euroa, to Rosehill, Warwick Farm and Randwick and Toowoomba. All those thoroughbreds who can barely canter in work and with pretrainers and then win races with their main trainers.

Linghi, I know one of the best trackriders around, who was a good jockey for 25 years, and rides for one of these suspicious stables. He cannot believe that the horses can work so bad, then come out on Raceday and win by panels when well backed. Then a week or two later they run again and perform like their legs are tied together.
It drives him crazy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Straight arrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 10:48am
A Alba ? If you want to run around and inform to authorities every thing you hear in a coffee shop or on a race track? See what the authorities and others think of you? I mentioned something I had heard about many years ago. I never put a name to it, there is a reason for that!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 11:24am
But you can spout away, anonymously, on a public forum, essentially egging others on....

Perhaps keep it to the coffee shop gossip. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 12:56pm
The single word that best describes a forum for me is GOSSIP LOL
What else would we be here for? Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Straight arrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 2:40pm
That’s about right, gay3 I just pass on some idol gossip
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mc41 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 5:33pm
It Was frogs not long ago
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 5:40pm
Yes, frogs, snakes & plants too, this particular topic came to light simply thru' authorities announcing they finally have a test & suspect there are users............it's only taken upwards of 15 years but better late than never Tongue
Meanwhile, back in the lab...............LOL

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 7:51pm
Originally posted by Gay3 Gay3 wrote:

The single word that best describes a forum for me is GOSSIP LOL
What else would we be here for? Wink

I prefer to learn stuff not listen to rubbish. Otherwise what could you ever believe in. Isn't that the problem with social media?

eg your posts re the horses at the sales yards, is it really true?

Thats why there are new rules.

Amateur photos don't lie Angry Ask slowdown, he got one of his homebreds out!
 


Edited by Gay3 - 11 Jul 2019 at 12:07pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nocturnal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2019 at 10:23am
Mmm I wonder if this story has arisen from the rumours circulating of a positive for a Victorian trainers horse who have both been airborne. Can’t say too much but race was end of May and connections haven’t been paid yet .
The only problem with backing winners ? You never have enough on....
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Airborne to Perth?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote linghi11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2019 at 11:33am
Was it a jumps race by any chance Noccy?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Batman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2019 at 12:43pm
Originally posted by linghi11 linghi11 wrote:

Was it a jumps race by any chance Noccy?

Airborne 😂😂😂
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