India is home to over 270 species of snake and 60 of these are venomous. Snake as a species is about 150 million old and have roamed the planet since the Jurassic period. They have evolved and optimized their venom to hunt their prey effectively. Modern human a recent product of evolution have been around for 200,000 years and are not a natural prey for snakes. However, snakebites can be lethal. It is no more true than in India where over a million snakebites occur annually and over 50,000 people die of snake bites.
Since 1896, snake anti-venom has been developed using horses. While the horse-derived anti-sera are effective, given the numerous snake species and the geographical variation even with the same species, the antivenoms often do not work effectively. Also, timely access to anti-venom and cost remain unsolved. With the rapid changes in genomics technologies it is possible to rapidly understand the snakes and also develop anti-venom using recombinant technologies. In parallel several effort are underway to create awareness about snakebites and how to seek proper help.
This "Live and Let Live: Snakebite Cure Symposia" is organized by SciGenom Research Foundation (SGRF), a not-for-profit organization, at the 2018 NextGen Genomics, Biology, Bioinformatics and Technologies (NGBT) conference. It will feature world leaders trying to tackle the issues associated with Snakebites from both a Scientific and Social perspective.