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Vexing venom delivered on the web

There's an interesting post over at Spoonful of Medicine today looking at the science surrounding various spider bite therapies. Elie Dolgin writes:

. . .Each year hundreds of thousands of people around the world are bitten by venomous spiders. Some of these, such as the redback spider of Australia, cause neurotoxic effects, leading to cramps, nausea, paralysis and even death. Others, including North America's brown recluse spider (pictured at right), have cytotoxic venom that kills cells and tissue leading to nasty, ulcerated wounds.

As such, one might think that spider antivenoms, which have been on the market for over half a century, could go a long way to treating the effects of these eight-legged onslaughts. But in practice, antivenoms are largely ineffective because spider bite victims often don't know for many hours that they've been nipped. . . .

Photo by OakleyOriginals

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