A group of researchers from the University of Sydney found a possible cure for the world’s poisonous box jellyfish sting. The team used CRISPR, a gene-editing tool that helped recognized how the venom destroys human cells. Researchers tried particular types of cyclodextrins, a family of drugs that reduces bad cholesterol, to block the venom from spreading through the body. Based on the study, the venom becomes more damaging when it reacts to cholesterol. They figured out that cyclodextrins can also have the same effect for box jellyfish venom if applied to the sting as soon as possible.

According to the US National Ocean Service, the Australian box jellyfish is considered the most dangerous aquatic animal in the world. This kind of jellyfish has 15 tentacles on each box side that can grow up to approximately 10 ft. Each tentacle carries venom that can kill more than 60 people. The venom can lead to extreme pain, necrosis, cardiac failure, and death within minutes after left exposed. Associate Professor Greg Neely, a researcher 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.” The team goals to look for a way where the cure would be directly injected to humans.