The Vietnamese bush scorpion no longer has to die for science

The Vietnamese bush scorpion no longer has to die for science

Vietnamese forest scorpion (Heterometrus laoticus).Getty Images

With venom soaring in the air and its claws to the side, this Vietnamese bush scorpion has only one goal: impact.

Without avail. That is, when the animal ends up on the examination table for a toxicologist who wants to study its genes. This requires tissue that cannot be collected without killing the animal.

A research group led by Frick Funk and Ari van der Maijden has developed a new method for keeping the animal alive. The study was published in the scientific journal on Thursday PLUS ONE.

The necessary cells appear to be in the poison itself. Researchers can “milk” without killing the animal.

This is good news. Not only does it save scorpions’ lives, but it also opens the doors to all kinds of new research. For example, poison is used in the treatment of brain tumors and is necessary for the development of an antidote.

By the way, this Vietnamese scorpion looks more dangerous than it is. Its sting is no more dangerous to a person than the sting of a good bee, if it attacks at all. It is preferable to keep its poison for later, so as not to be without it in the event of an unexpected attack.

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