Spider Venom the New Viagra

By Max Brallier,  Newser User
Posted May 16, 2007 7:31 AM CDT
Spider Venom the New Viagra
banana spider   ((c) fsgm)

(Newser) – Men with erectile dysfunction may get an assist, believe it or not, from the Brazillian wandering spider—also dubbed the banana spider for its propensity to hide in bunches of the fruit. Researchers at Johns Hopkins have isolated a compound in the spider's deadly saliva that causes erections, der Spiegel reports.

Unlike drugs like Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis, which inhibit a chemical that kills erections, the spider venom works by allowing certain muscles to relax, letting blood flow to the penis. If successful, it could be used to treat the the the one-third of men suffering from erectile dysfunction who aren't helped by the earlier drugs. (Read more erectile dysfunction stories.)

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