Brown recluse spiders bite more than 7,000 people in Brazil every year causing serious skin lesions and even death. The anti-venom used as treatment comes at the expense of many animal lives. But could a breakthrough in synthetic spider venom lead to a more humane solution?

“The first time I was bitten, I nearly died,” says Adelaide Fabienski Maia, a school assistant from Curitiba.

“I put my shorts on in the morning and felt a bite but didn’t realise what it was. It wasn’t until the evening that my face started burning up. I looked at the bite area and it was red.”

Adelaide was soon rushed to hospital with the classic target-shaped lesion caused by the venom eating away at her skin.

It was only thanks to a dose of anti-venom that she’s still around to tell the tale.

But the anti-venom currently available comes with its own risks – mostly to the animals involved in the production process.

Venom is milked from thousands of brown spiders before being injected into horses. This triggers an immune response that creates life-saving anti-venom for humans – while drastically reducing the horses’ own lifespan.

Now scientists in Brazil have come up with a synthetic venom alternative that could save many of those lives.

Read the full story – BBC News – Biting back: Taking the sting out of spider venom.

Load More Related Articles
  • CALL ME!

    Iconic red telephone boxes are making a comeback in London; although this time they are be…
  • FLOATY LIGHT

    A satellite launched in 2009 to map gravity has discovered that there has been a change in…
  • RHINO SOMETHING

    Benidorm´s Terra Natura animal park has been raising awareness over the plight of endanger…
Load More In The Environment