HONOLULU (AP) — A University of Hawaii scientist has developed a way to treat Hawaii box jellyfish stings and block the poison emitted by related species in Australia and other parts of the world.
Dr. Angel Yanagihara discovered a pore-forming toxin common to all box jellyfish. Then she developed an inhibitor that blocks the toxin.
The medical school professor has multiple patents for the technology. A company is licensing it and conducting clinical trials to bring the product to market.
Stings from Hawaii box jellyfish are usually just a painful nuisance. But the stings inflicted by related box jellyfish in Indonesia, Thailand and Australia can trigger heart attacks and even kill people.
The scientific journal PLOS ONE published Yanagihara's research on Wednesday.