“For the life of the flesh is in the blood….”
A stroke – sometimes called a brain attack – happens when a blood clot prevents blood circulation in the brain. Unless the clot is quickly dissolved, the brain cells will die. There is currently only one approved drug to dissolve these clots, but it must be given within three hours of the stroke. Unfortunately, most stroke victims don’t get to the hospital that quickly.
A new drug called desmoteplase has now proven safe and effective when given up to nine hours after a stroke. This is a preliminary conclusion after limited human testing. Most amazingly, this drug is made from the saliva of vampire bats! These bats must feed on blood. Typically, they pierce the skin of a cow or some other mammal. The bat saliva contains the working chemical in desmoteplase and keeps the blood from coagulating while the bat is feeding; when it is finished, the blood clots in its host quite naturally. Not only is the critical time in which desmoteplase can be applied much greater than that of the man-made drug, but it appears to carry no risk of causing a hemorrhage.
Again, man has gone to one of God’s designs and found something that is better than anything man could devise. That this happens every day should send the message to everyone that we are the result of a wise Creator.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for all the gifts you have given us in the creation. Help us to learn to use them wisely and for good. Amen.
Author: Paul A. Bartz
Ref: Science News, 2/19/05, p. 126, “Vampire spit give strokes a licking.” Photo: Common Vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus, picture taken at Sangayan Island, Paracas National Reserve) by acatenazzi. CC by SA 3.0
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