“Decades-Long Collaboration Emerges from Crocodile Attack: Pain Relief Gel Project”

by Santiago Fernandez
Pain Relief Gel

In the year 1986, John Watson’s encounter with a crocodile resulted in a remarkable turn of events, sparking a project that has spanned over three decades and counting. Following the harrowing incident, during which he lost a finger to the reptile’s jaws, John sought solace in an unlikely source: the bark of the Mudjala mangrove tree. Chewing on a strip of the bark and applying it as a dressing to his wound, he discovered an age-old remedy for pain relief.

This extraordinary journey of discovery captured the attention of Professor Ron Quinn from Griffith University. Professor Quinn’s fascination with John’s unconventional pain relief method paved the way for a collaboration between the Nyikina Mangala people, to whom John belonged, and the academic institution. Together, they embarked on a mission that would bridge the realms of Traditional Knowledge and Western science.

The ensuing research venture, a fusion of ancient wisdom and modern expertise, yielded a groundbreaking revelation. Within the Mudjala mangrove bark, they identified compounds with potent pain-relieving properties. These compounds fell into two distinct classes: one effective against inflammatory pain and the other mitigating sciatic nerve injuries.

The culmination of their efforts has now earned John Watson and Professor Ron Quinn the prestigious Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering’s Traditional Knowledge Innovation Award. Their achievement highlights the transformative potential of uniting centuries-old traditions with cutting-edge scientific exploration.

The next phase of this remarkable journey involves the development of a topical gel based on the intricate mixtures found within the bark. John and Ron have set their sights on a grand stage—the 2032 Brisbane Olympics—where this innovative gel could be made available to athletes. Importantly, they aim to ensure that Traditional Knowledge remains in the hands of its custodians, the Aboriginal communities.

This ambitious project, blending Traditional Knowledge with Western science, represents a new frontier in pain relief. It holds promise not only for athletes but also for individuals seeking natural alternatives to alleviate pain. Moreover, it underscores the significance of respecting and preserving Indigenous wisdom.

In a broader context, this endeavor aligns with a series of groundbreaking initiatives celebrated by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. These initiatives encompass diverse areas, ranging from sustainable energy solutions to revolutionizing sustainability practices in the beef and lamb industry.

The recipients of ATSE’s awards, which recognize outstanding engineers and technologists, have demonstrated their commitment to addressing Australia’s most pressing challenges. Their work spans vital domains such as climate change, mining, plastic waste management, battery technology, and food security.

Dr. Katherine Woodthorpe AO FTSE, President of ATSE, commended the award winners for their remarkable innovation, unwavering determination, and the tangible impact they have made in applying Australian research to effect transformative change. Their accomplishments serve as shining examples of the game-changing potential inherent in Australian ingenuity and expertise.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Pain Relief Gel

What led to the collaboration between John Watson and Professor Ron Quinn?

In 1986, John Watson’s crocodile attack and his use of Mudjala mangrove bark for pain relief piqued Professor Ron Quinn’s interest, leading to their collaboration.

What was the result of their research?

The research, combining Traditional Knowledge and Western science, identified pain-relieving compounds in the Mudjala mangrove bark.

What are the two classes of compounds found in the bark?

The bark contains two classes of compounds: one effective for inflammatory pain and the other mitigates sciatic nerve injury.

What recognition did John Watson and Professor Ron Quinn receive for their work?

They were named the inaugural recipients of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering’s Traditional Knowledge Innovation Award.

What is the next step in their project?

The next phase involves developing a topical gel based on the compounds in the bark, with hopes to provide it to athletes at the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

How does this project bridge Traditional Knowledge with Western science?

It demonstrates the potential of merging Indigenous wisdom with modern scientific exploration to create innovative solutions, such as the pain relief gel.

More about Pain Relief Gel

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SeriousReader789 November 21, 2023 - 3:35 am

John & Prof Quinn, heroes! blendin’ old & new for pain, goin’ big in 2032, epic!

JohnSmith82 November 21, 2023 - 7:29 am

wow! croc attack, mangrove bark, sciatic pain, & gel? very cool story


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