venomous how earths deadliest creatures mastered biochemistry

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Venomous

Author : Christie Wilcox
ISBN : 9780374712211
Genre : Science
File Size : 58. 30 MB
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A thrilling tale of encounters with nature’s masters of biochemistry From the coasts of Indonesia to the rainforests of Peru, venomous animals are everywhere—and often lurking out of sight. Humans have feared them for centuries, long considering them the assassins and pariahs of the natural world. Now, in Venomous, the biologist Christie Wilcox investigates and illuminates the animals of our nightmares, arguing that they hold the keys to a deeper understanding of evolution, adaptation, and immunity. She reveals just how venoms function and what they do to the human body. With Wilcox as our guide, we encounter a jellyfish with tentacles covered in stinging cells that can kill humans in minutes; a two-inch caterpillar with toxic bristles that trigger hemorrhaging; and a stunning blue-ringed octopus capable of inducing total paralysis. How do these animals go about their deadly work? How did they develop such intricate, potent toxins? Wilcox takes us around the world and down to the cellular level to find out. Throughout her journey, Wilcox meets the intrepid scientists who risk their lives studying these lethal beasts, as well as “self-immunizers” who deliberately expose themselves to snakebites. Along the way, she puts her own life on the line, narrowly avoiding being envenomated herself. Drawing on her own research, Wilcox explains how venom scientists are untangling the mechanisms of some of our most devastating diseases, and reports on pharmacologists who are already exploiting venoms to produce lifesaving drugs. We discover that venomous creatures are in fact keystone species that play crucial roles in their ecosystems and ours—and for this alone, they ought to be protected and appreciated. Thrilling and surprising at every turn, Venomous will change everything you thought you knew about the planet’s most dangerous animals.

Venomous

Author : Christie Wilcox
ISBN : 9780374283377
Genre : Science
File Size : 48. 47 MB
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"Biologist Christie Wilcox investigates and illuminates the animals of our nightmares, arguing that they hold the keys to a deeper understanding of evolution, adaptation, and immunity. She reveals just how venoms function and what they do to the human body. With Wilcox as our guide, we encounter a jellyfish with tentacles covered in stinging cells that can kill humans in minutes; a two-inch caterpillar with toxic bristles that trigger hemorrhaging; and a stunning blue-ringed octopus capable of inducing total paralysis"--Dust jacket flap.

The Sting Of The Wild

Author : Justin O. Schmidt
ISBN : 9781421419299
Genre : Science
File Size : 42. 75 MB
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Entomologist Justin O. Schmidt is on a mission. Some say it’s a brave exploration, others shake their heads in disbelief. His goal? To compare the impacts of stinging insects on humans, mainly using himself as the gauge. In The Sting of the Wild, the colorful Dr. Schmidt takes us on a journey inside the lives of stinging insects, seeing the world through their eyes as well as his own. He explains how and why they attack and reveals the powerful punch they can deliver with a small venom gland and a "sting," the name for the apparatus that delivers the venom. We learn which insects are the worst to encounter and why some are barely worth considering. The Sting of the Wild includes the complete Schmidt Sting Pain Index, published here for the first time. In addition to a numerical ranking of the agony of each of the eighty-three stings he’s sampled so far (from below 1 to an excruciatingly painful 4), Schmidt describes them in prose worthy of a professional wine critic: "Looks deceive. Rich and full-bodied in appearance, but flavorless" and "Pure, intense, brilliant pain. Like walking over flaming charcoal with a three-inch nail embedded in your heel." Schmidt explains that, for some insects, stinging is used for hunting: small wasps, for example, can paralyze huge caterpillars and then lay their eggs inside so that their larvae can feast within. Others are used to kill competing insects, even members of their own species. Humans usually experience stings as defensive maneuvers used by insects to protect their nest mates. With colorful descriptions of each venom’s sensation and a story that leaves you tingling with awe, The Sting of the Wild’s one-of-a-kind style will fire your imagination.

The Wasp That Brainwashed The Caterpillar

Author : Matt Simon
ISBN : 9780698411258
Genre : Science
File Size : 88. 85 MB
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“A bizarre collection of evolution tales . . . the weirder, the better.” —Entertainment Weekly A fascinating exploration of the awe-inspiring, unsettling ingenuity of evolution On a barren seafloor, the pearlfish swims into the safety of a sea cucumber’s anus. To find a meal, the female bolas spider releases pheromones that mimic a female moth, luring male moths into her sticky lasso web. The Glyptapanteles wasp injects a caterpillar with her young, which feed on the victim, erupt out of it, then mind-control the poor (and somehow still living) schmuck into protecting them from predators. These are among the curious critters of The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar, a jaunt through evolution’s most unbelievable, most ingenious solutions to the problems of everyday life, from trying to get laid to finding food. Join Wired science writer Matt Simon as he introduces you to the creatures that have it figured out, the ones that joust with their mustaches or choke sharks to death with snot, all in a wild struggle to survive and, of course, find true love. Winner of the American Library Association’s Alex Award

Venomous

Author : Christopher Krovatin
ISBN : 9781416964933
Genre : Juvenile Fiction
File Size : 69. 27 MB
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Locke Vinetti is a high school junior, disenchanted and more than a little hostile. In fact, for years he's had a lousy social life because of a problem he has with his anger--a force he calls "the venom." Ever since he was eight years old and bit off a piece of a classmate's nose, he's been something of a loner. But all that is about to change when he goes out with his one friend, Randall, to meet some of Randall's crew hanging out at Riverside Park. Because in addition to meeting his kindred spirit, Casey--who has his own problems with his own kind of venom--Locke meets the spikey blue fairy-haircut Goth girl of his dreams. And if their relationship is going to work, he knows he has to rid himself of the venom once and for all. Interspersed with comic book adventures of the fantasy anti-hero alter-ego Locke has invented for himself, VENOMOUS is a fast-paced, funny, and ferocious read about one teenage boy's struggle with his inner demons.

Venomous Reptiles And Their Toxins

Author : Bryan Fry
ISBN : 9780199309399
Genre : Science
File Size : 66. 58 MB
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Venom research and technology has advanced greatly, rapidly transforming our knowledge of reptile venoms. Research advances, like the development of molecular systematics, provide the framework necessary to reconstruct the evolutionary history of glands and fangs. Such research developments have expanded our understanding of venom's evolution and its usefulness in therapeutic development. The results of this punctuated toxin molecular evolutionary expansion include protein neofunctionalization. While these changes may impact antivenom efficacy, this molecular diversity also facilitates their usefulness in the development of novel drug therapies. Venomous Reptiles And Their Toxins brings together the world's leading toxinologists in this comprehensive study of the entire scope of reptile venoms, from clinical effects to evolution to drug design and development. The book contains detailed applied chapters on clinical care of the envenomed patient, ineffective traditional or modern remedies, occupational considerations involved in the maintenance of institutional venomous reptile collections, veterinary care for venomous reptiles and research methods used in venom research. This book also devotes a chapter to each toxin class found in reptile venoms, detailing the full trajectory of research on the peptide or protein in question. These chapters discuss each toxin's respective role in the envenomation process through to how each has been explored for their biomedical potential. This book is a unique resource for anyone working with venomous reptiles.

Venom Doc

Author : Bryan Grieg Fry
ISBN : 9780733634239
Genre : Science
File Size : 53. 11 MB
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Meet venomologist Bryan Grieg Fry, the man with one of the most dangerous job in Australia - working with the world's most deadly creatures. Welcome to the strange and dangerous world of Doctor Venom. Imagine a first date involving three weeks in Siberia catching venomous water shrews, and later a wedding attended by Eastern European prime ministers and their bodyguards wielding machine guns. Then a life of living and working with snakes. Lots of very, very poisonous snakes and other venomous creatures ... everything from the Malaysian king cobra to deadly scorpions. In this action-packed ride through Bryan Grieg Fry's life you'll meet the man who's worked with the world's most venomous creatures in over 50 countries. He's been bitten by 26 poisonous snakes and three stingrays - and, while deep in the Amazon jungle, survived a near-fatal scorpion sting. He's also broken 23 bones, including breaking his back in three places, and had to learn how to walk again. He only works on venom that he has collected himself - so the adventures, and danger, will just keep coming... Bryan now divides his time between scientific research and teaching at the University of Queensland, and TV filming and collecting expeditions around the world.

America S Snake

Author : Ted Levin
ISBN : 9780226040783
Genre : Science
File Size : 48. 14 MB
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There’s no sound quite like it, or as viscerally terrifying: the ominous rattle of the timber rattlesnake. It’s a chilling shorthand for imminent danger, and a reminder of the countless ways that nature can suddenly snuff us out. Yet most of us have never seen a timber rattler. Though they’re found in thirty-one states, and near many major cities, in contemporary America timber rattlesnakes are creatures mostly of imagination and innate fear. Ted Levin aims to change that with America’s Snake, a portrait of the timber rattlesnake, its place in America’s pantheon of creatures and in our own frontier history—and of the heroic efforts to protect it against habitat loss, climate change, and the human tendency to kill what we fear. Taking us from labs where the secrets of the snake’s evolutionary history are being unlocked to far-flung habitats whose locations are fiercely protected by biologists and dedicated amateur herpetologists alike, Levin paints a picture of a fascinating creature: peaceable, social, long-lived, and, despite our phobias, not inclined to bite. The timber rattler emerges here as emblematic of America and also, unfortunately, of the complicated, painful struggles involved in protecting and preserving the natural world. A wonderful mix of natural history, travel writing, and exemplary journalism, America’s Snake is loaded with remarkable characters—none more so than the snake at its heart: frightening, perhaps; endangered, certainly; and unquestionably unforgettable.

Handbook Of Venoms And Toxins Of Reptiles

Author : Stephen P. Mackessy
ISBN : 1420008668
Genre : Nature
File Size : 26. 30 MB
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The Handbook of Venoms and Toxins of Reptiles offers "one-stop shopping" to all biologists, biochemists, toxicologists, physicians, clinicians, and epidemiologists, and informed laypersons interested in the biology of venomous reptiles, the biochemistry and molecular biology of venoms, and the effects and treatment of human envenomation. This book examines the topic generally, provides an overview of the current taxonomy of these reptiles, explains the similarities and differences in the venom delivery apparatus in different groups of reptiles, reviews state-of-the-art knowledge about specific venom components and their action, and summarizes effects of envenomation and treatment in humans on different continents. Produced by leading toxinologists, biologists, biochemists, and physicians from 12 countries, the book provides a broad, international perspective that bridges divergent areas in modern biology. A synthesis of current knowledge about venoms and venomous reptiles, it contains a wealth of illustrations, including an 8-page color insert, that present a view of reptile toxinology from the whole animal to the glands producing venoms to the molecular models and the mechanisms of actions of the toxins themselves. The book provides a context for understanding the range of activities present in venoms and supplies detailed information on many enzymes and toxins found in them, bringing into focus the worldwide extent of the occurrence and complexity of human envenomations by reptiles. It explores the unique and interesting results produced by collaborations between specialists from very different fields and how they can stimulate new and continued interest in research on venoms and the animals that produce them.

Microbes From Hell

Author : Patrick Forterre
ISBN : 9780226265964
Genre : Science
File Size : 90. 85 MB
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At the close of the 1970s, the two-domain classification scheme long used by most biologists—prokaryotes versus eukaryotes—was upended by the discovery of an entirely new group of organisms: archaea. Initially thought to be bacteria, these single-celled microbes—many of which were first found in seemingly unlivable habitats like the volcanic hot springs of Yellowstone National Park—were in fact so different at molecular and genetic levels as to constitute a separate, third domain beside bacteria and eukaryotes. Their discovery sparked a conceptual revolution in our understanding of the evolution of life, and Patrick Forterre was—and still is—at the vanguard of this revolution. In Microbes from Hell, one of the world’s leading experts on archaea and hyperthermophiles, or organisms that have evolved to flourish in extreme temperatures, offers a colorful, engaging account of this taxonomic upheaval. Blending tales of his own search for thermophiles with discussions of both the physiological challenges thermophiles face and the unique adaptations they have evolved to live in high-temperature environments, Forterre illuminates our developing understanding of the relationship between archaea and the rest of Earth’s organisms. From biotech applications to the latest discoveries in thermophile research, from microbiomes to the communities of organisms that dwell on deep-sea vents, Forterre’s exploration of life-forms that seem to thrive at the mouth of hell provides a glimpse into the early days of Earth, offering deep insight into what life may have looked like in the extreme environments of our planet’s dawn.

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