French researchers have isolated a painkiller in men’s saliva that is up to six times as powerful as morphine. Catherine Rougeot and her colleagues at the Pasteur Institute in Paris hope the compound, called opiorphin, will lead to the development of effective new painkillers that are not addictive, according to New Scientist (November 18, 2006).
Scientists think opiorphin works by blocking the destruction of enkephalins, natural opiates in the body’s nerve cells. Although drugs from opiorphin may still be years away, Rougeot and her colleagues say the compound is easy to synthesize for further study. Researchers might also be able to find drugs that prompt the body to make opiorphin.
So this is news? I've known this for a long time.