Once a tick buries itself in flesh, it spits. And special properties in its saliva ensure that its food supply — blood — flows easily without any obstructions. That could also come in handy for patients whose vessels are in danger of closing up from clots. So Professor Manjunatha Kini at National University of Singapore isolated molecules in tick saliva to develop a potential drug that is 70 times more potent than the natural blood-thinning agent found in a human body. The drug has performed well in animal testing so far, but still has more than a year of additional research before it will be ready to test in people.