Thursday, January 31, 2013

Venom: The Bite That Heals

Picture of venomous green mamba snake 

Scientists are unlocking the medical potential of venom.
 
Michael decided to go for a swim. He was on vacation with his family in Guerrero, Mexico, and it was hotter than blazes. He grabbed his swimming trunks from where they’d been drying on a chair, slid them on, and jumped into the pool. Instead of cool relief, a burning pain ripped through the back of his thigh. Tearing off his trunks, he leaped naked from the pool, his leg on fire.

Behind him a small, ugly, yellow creature was treading water. He scooped it into a Tupperware container, and the caretaker of the house rushed him to the local Red Cross facility, where doctors immediately identified his attacker: a bark scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus, one of the most venomous species in North America. The fierce pain from a sting is typically followed by what feels like electric shocks racking the body. Occasionally victims die.

For the rest of the story: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/02/venom/holland-text?src=longreads

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