March 25, 2021


by Science Vs

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Snake venom is a wily beast. It's packed with hundreds of toxins that can attack our blood vessels, muscles and nerves. That's why snake bites kill some 100,000 people each year. On today's show — dangerous snake bites and the bizarre way we make the only thing that can save you from them: antivenom. (Spoiler alert: it takes snake milkers and stables filled with horses.) We'll also look at the groundbreaking research that could eventually revolutionise all this. We speak to Captain Pete Bethune, snake venom researchers Dr. Christina Zdenek, Professor José María Gutiérrez, Dr. Laura Albulescu and snake milker Greivin Corales. 

To read more about Pete Bethune's work: 

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Check out the transcript right here:

This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman with help from Meryl Horn, Rose Rimler, Michelle Dang, Nick DelRose, and Taylor White. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Erica Akiko Howard. Mix and sound design by Bumi Hidaka. Music written by Peter Leonard, Marcus Bagala, Emma Munger, and Bobby Lord. A huge thanks to all the researchers we got in touch with for this episode, including Professor Abdul Razaq Habib, Dr. Gavin Smith, Professor Abina Crean, Professor Nick Casewell, Dr. Jessicah Kurere, and Dr. Tarek Mohamed. And special thanks to Pia Gadkari, the Zukerman family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.