venomous how earths deadliest creatures mastered biochemistry

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Venomous

Author : Christie Wilcox
ISBN : 9780374712211
Genre : Science
File Size : 21. 29 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 : 0374537100
Genre : Science
File Size : 41. 42 MB
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A thrilling tale of encounters with nature’s masters of biochemistry “A fitting tribute to one of nature’s most sinister creations of all.” —Carl Zimmer, author of Parasite Rex In Venomous, the molecular biologist Christie Wilcox investigates venoms and the animals that use them, revealing how they work, what they do to the human body, and how they can revolutionize biochemistry and medicine today. Wilcox takes us from the coast of Indonesia to the rain forests of Peru in search of the secrets of these mysterious animals. We encounter jellyfish that release microscopic venom-packed darts known to kill humans in just two minutes, a two-inch caterpillar with toxic bristles that trigger hemorrhaging throughout the body, and a stunning blue-ringed octopus with saliva capable of inducing total paralysis. How could an animal as simple as a jellyfish evolve such an intricate, deadly poison? And how can a snake possess enzymes that tear through tissue yet leave its own body unscathed? Wilcox meets the fearless scientists who often risk their lives studying these lethal beasts to find out, and puts her life on the line to examine these species up close. Drawing on her own research on venom chemistry and evolution, she also shows how venom is helping us untangle the complex mechanisms of some of our most devastating diseases. Venomous reveals that the animals we fear the most actually hold the keys to a deeper understanding of evolution, adaptation, and immunity. Thrilling and surprising at every turn, Venomous will change the way you think about our natural world.

Venomous

Author : Christie Wilcox
ISBN : 9780374283377
Genre : Science
File Size : 26. 59 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 : 50. 55 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 : 29. 30 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 Reptiles And Their Toxins

Author : Bryan Fry
ISBN : 9780199309399
Genre : Science
File Size : 75. 78 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.

Modern Poisons

Author : Alan Kolok
ISBN : 9781610916097
Genre : Science
File Size : 79. 77 MB
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Traditional toxicology textbooks tend to be doorstops: tomes filled with important but seemingly abstract chemistry and biology. Meanwhile, magazine and journal articles introduce students to timely topics such as BPA and endocrine disruption or the carcinogenic effects of pesticides, but don't provide the fundamentals needed to understand the science of toxicity. Written by a longtime professor of toxicology, Modern Poisons bridges this gap. This accessible book explains basic principles in plain language while illuminating the most important issues in contemporary toxicology. Kolok begins by exploring age-old precepts of the field such as the dose-response relationship and the concept, first introduced by Ambroise Paré in the sixteenth century, that a chemical's particular action depends on its inherent chemical nature. The author goes on to show exactly how chemicals enter the body and elicit their toxic effect, as well as the body's methods of defense. With the fundamentals established, Kolok digs into advances in toxicology, tracing the field's development from World War II to the present day. The book examines both technical discoveries and their impacts on public policy. Highlights include studies of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in toiletries and prescriptions, the emerging science on prions, and our growing understanding of epigenetics. Readers learnnot only how toxic exposure affects people and wildlife, but about the long-term social and environmental consequences of our chemicals. Whether studying toxicology itself, public health, or environmental science, readers will develop a core understanding of—and curiosity about—this fast-changing field.

What A Fish Knows

Author : Jonathan Balcombe
ISBN : 9780374714338
Genre : Nature
File Size : 65. 9 MB
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A New York Times Bestseller Do fishes think? Do they really have three-second memories? And can they recognize the humans who peer back at them from above the surface of the water? In What a Fish Knows, the myth-busting ethologist Jonathan Balcombe addresses these questions and more, taking us under the sea, through streams and estuaries, and to the other side of the aquarium glass to reveal the surprising capabilities of fishes. Although there are more than thirty thousand species of fish—more than all mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians combined—we rarely consider how individual fishes think, feel, and behave. Balcombe upends our assumptions about fishes, portraying them not as unfeeling, dead-eyed feeding machines but as sentient, aware, social, and even Machiavellian—in other words, much like us. What a Fish Knows draws on the latest science to present a fresh look at these remarkable creatures in all their breathtaking diversity and beauty. Fishes conduct elaborate courtship rituals and develop lifelong bonds with shoalmates. They also plan, hunt cooperatively, use tools, curry favor, deceive one another, and punish wrongdoers. We may imagine that fishes lead simple, fleeting lives—a mode of existence that boils down to a place on the food chain, rote spawning, and lots of aimless swimming. But, as Balcombe demonstrates, the truth is far richer and more complex, worthy of the grandest social novel. Highlighting breakthrough discoveries from fish enthusiasts and scientists around the world and pondering his own encounters with fishes, Balcombe examines the fascinating means by which fishes gain knowledge of the places they inhabit, from shallow tide pools to the deepest reaches of the ocean. Teeming with insights and exciting discoveries, What a Fish Knows offers a thoughtful appraisal of our relationships with fishes and inspires us to take a more enlightened view of the planet’s increasingly imperiled marine life. What a Fish Knows will forever change how we see our aquatic cousins—the pet goldfish included.

Venom Doc

Author : Bryan Grieg Fry
ISBN : 9780733634239
Genre : Science
File Size : 29. 70 MB
Format : PDF
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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.

Venomous Animals Of The World

Author : Steve Backshall
ISBN : 0801888336
Genre : Science
File Size : 44. 28 MB
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The first book of its kind on this fascinating subject, Venomous Animals of the World is illustrated throughout with stunning color photographs.

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