Researchers from the University of Sydney discovered a possible cure for the Australian box jellyfish sting. The team used CRISPR, a genome-editing tool, to find a molecular antidote that blocks the venom from circulating through the body.

They used specific types of cyclodextrins, a family of drugs that eliminates cholesterol, to congest the venom. Researchers asserted that the venom becomes most harmful once it reacts to cholesterol. They also concluded that cyclodextrins can function as antidotes if applied immediately in just 15 minutes after vulnerability to the sting. According to the university, the antidote was first tested on human cells out of the body and then on mice.

According to the US National Ocean Service, the Australian box jellyfish is considered the most threatening sea creature in the world. It has 60 tentacles that can grow up to almost 10 feet. Each tentacle has millions of microscopic mechanism that has venom and can kill more than 60 victims. The venom can trigger severe pain, necrosis, cardiac arrest and could lead to death in just minutes if left exposed. If it is not lethal, the venom can cause extreme pain. Associate Professor Greg Neely, one of the researchers from the University of Sydney, said, “It turns out by blocking the venom’s ability to kill the cells, we can also block some of the pain.” They also plan to develop a cure that would be directly infused into humans.