Cover Photograph: Snake venom: An underestimated resource for drug development. Despite being used for medicinal purposes since the ancient times, the full potential of snake venoms in pharmacology is still being grossly underestimated according to Vonk et al. on pages 269–279 of this issue. The authors review recent discoveries in venom composition and toxin diversity and elaborate how these advances might be exploited for drug development with the help of innovative high-throughput techniques. Toxin diversity of snake venoms has arisen in evolution via several mechanisms, such as multiple splicing, post-translational modification and domain switching. At the same time a global biodiversity crisis is threatening the snake populations on which hopes for new medications depend. The photo shows Coelognathus radiata, a mildly venomous snake inhabiting Asian rainforests.