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The 6th extinction isn’t about how cute the polar bears are

In 100, by Montana on November 15, 2018 at 2:37 pm

Up to 20,000,000 distinct venom toxins exist today on Earth. Venoms have led us to numerous life-saving discoveries, yet scientists have analyzed fewer than 1,000 compounds to date.

Observing viper venom led to the invention of anticoagulants.

Therapeutic peptides derived from sea anemones are undergoing clinical trials for treatment of certain autoimmune diseases.

Spider venoms could yield eco-friendly insecticides that replace our use of endocrine-disrupting synthetics.

A cancer detecting compound derived from Deathstalker Scorpion venom was approved by the FDA to locate brain tumors during surgery.

Nature’s deadliest creatures save human lives—but is venom enough to save themselves from mass extinction?

  1. Wow – what do you do? How do you know all this? Really loved this piece.

    Do you know if there there’s an application for this: the Wooley moth catepillar is found in the arctic tundra and is frozen dead 11 out of 12 months of the year. It’s mitochondria disintegrates and becomes some kind of antifreeze during those 11 months. It’s technically dead, but comes back to life in June to eat. It does this for 14 years!

    First thing I think of is… everlasting life!

    • Oo I didn’t know that— so cool!!! Someone should definitely do some anti-aging research on that little guy! Honestly I just vaguely knew that plants and venoms contribute to disease cures so I did some google research to prove a point haha

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