Prialt Blocks Motor Synapse in Fish

Have you ever wondered how to paralyze a fish? The cone snail produces venom that works, but what happens at a molecular level? A calcium channel blocker prevents muscle movement, enabling the slow-moving snail to catch faster, larger fish. Talk about an unfair advantage!

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Discuss other medications for humans that come from sea creatures
  • Share more about the delivery of this chemical from the cone snail to the fish because everyone loves a snail with a harpoon
Classroom Considerations

  • Relies on prior knowledge of nerves, synapses, and Prialt
Pros

  • Relates biology, neurology, and conchology
  • Works well in traditional or flipped classes
Cons

  • None
NGSS