Venomous: How Earth's Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry

A thrilling tale of encounters with nature s masters of biochemistryIn 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 rainforests of Peru in search ofA thrilling tale of encounters with nature s masters of biochemistryIn 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 rainforests 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 own 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 How Earth s Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry A thrilling tale of encounters with nature s masters of biochemistryIn Venomous the molecular biologist Christie Wilcox investigates venoms and the animals that use them revealing how they work wha

  • Title: Venomous: How Earth's Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry
  • Author: Christie Wilcox
  • ISBN: 9780374283377
  • Page: 409
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Venomous How Earth s Deadliest Creatures 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 Why are some snakes so venomous The Conversation Australia is world famous for its venomous critters, including its many highly venomous snakes The snake that holds the popular title of world s most venomous is the inland taipan A leopard may not change its spots but venomous creatures A leopard may not change its spots but venomous creatures change their venom recipe often Darwinism at work, as sea anemones adapt their venom to accommodate changing prey and sea conditions Non Poisonous Snakes Earth s Friends Venomous Versus Non Venomous Snakes Aside from simply being disturbed by the way snakes look and move, many people are afraid of these creatures because of their potential for envenomation. Triffid The triffid is a fictitious tall, mobile, prolific and highly venomous plant species, the titular antagonist in John Wyndham s novel The Day of the Triffids and Simon Clark s sequel The Night of the Triffids.Triffids were also featured in the BBC radio dramatization of Wyndham s book, a considerably altered film adaptation, a faithful television serial produced by Most Poisonous Most Dangerous Snakes In the World Some snakes are dangerous because of the speed or ferocity of their attacks, others because of how common and widespread they are, and still others because their toxins are so deadly Here is a list of the most dangerous snakes in the world The Snakes of Egypt The Snakes of Egypt Snakes were found throughout ancient Egypt, including the desert sands, in old walls, in fields, by the Nile and in its swamps, on threshing floors, A History of Earth s Climate YouTube May , Earth had a climate long before we showed up and started noticing it and it s influenced by a whole series of cycles that have been churning along for hundreds of millions of years. Incredible Earth Extremes Listverse Dec , Animal Surviving in the Hottest Extreme Degrees C Shrimp At a thermal vent km below the surface in the equatorial Atlantic, Census researchers found shrimp on the edge of fluids billowing from Earth s core at this unprecedented marine recording. Here Be Dragons The Mythic Bite of the Komodo Science Sushi Jun , To a mediaeval mapmaker, the world was a vast and scary place Explorers that braved the seemingly endless oceans in search of new worlds

    1 thought on “Venomous: How Earth's Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry”

    1. Several reviews said Wilcox was no Mary Roach. I agree that she's not quite as funny, but she is entertaining & interesting. I was more worried that I might get lost because of too many scientific terms, but didn't find this to be a problem most of the time. The next to the last chapter got somewhat confusing, but the rest was very much at my level & I'm no scientist. Most of the technical terms were used to make a point more precise, such as how a venom uses a specific enzyme to trick o [...]

    2. Venomous: How Earth's Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry by Christie Wilcox, is a brief and interesting look at various venomous species of animals, how they operate, and how they interact with the human world. Wilcox has written an interesting book examining many different and surprising species of deadly animal, from the Platypus, with its barbed hind legs, to snakes and jellyfish, to a caterpillar that makes one bleed to death. These animals are strange and fascinating, and indeed have [...]

    3. 3.5 starsThe writing of this book won’t appeal to everyone. Wilcox kind of writes like she’s one of your friends who’s recounting a handful of interesting stories; there will be some anecdotal moments and some technical things where you’ll have to pause. It’s definitely a bit jarring but it worked for me because it’s legible enough to get the point across and felt rather ‘user-friendly’.The topic at hand is what I really enjoyed reading about. It’s not only a new subject but on [...]

    4. I didn't plan for this to be a Halloween read, but Christie Wilcox's lively, engaging study of venomous animals gave me the creeps a time or two. Wilcox is an excellent science writer, able to cogently distill complicated concepts for the lay reader while passing along her obvious love for the often unlovable snakes, spiders, wasps, ants, caterpillars, octopuses and platypuses that defend and/or feed themselves through venoms that can make flesh rot, turn insects into zombies or kill a human in [...]

    5. This was fascinating but it's not a book for someone without a basic grasp of biological terms. On the other hand, if you're okay with skipping all the technical language and examples, it's great!

    6. I have a deep fascination with venomous creatures. Thus, when I located this book at the Daviess County Library, I, of course, checked it out. From the Coasts of Indonesia to the rainforests of Peru, venomous animals abound. Humans have feared them and revered them from the beginning of recorded time when people from Turkey built a temple known today as Potbelly Hill, the oldest known religious site on earth. Limestone pillars remain where devoted believers erected them more than one hundred cen [...]

    7. This is a fun and educational read. It covers a wide variety of animals, and goes into a lot of detail about the venom they produce, its effects on pray and would-be predators, how such adaptations are thought to have evolved, etc. The author is quirky and funny, which wasn't obnoxious to me, but this may turn off some readers.The author presents an overly credulous description of the practice of venom "self-immunization". She repeats some of the practitioners' dubious claims of increased health [...]

    8. This rating/review is based on an ARC from the publisher sent to my work (the public library).Mary Roach this is not. There is definitely some really interesting and fun stuff in here, but also a ton of hard to follow stuff. I think this book could really benefit from a non-science editor to help clarify (dumb down) some of the content. I wish there were footnotes instead of endnotes, and some of the figures used were unexplained and totally way above the scientific understanding of the intended [...]

    9. Fascinating read synergistic words and diagrams paint vivid picturesThis book is scientifically stimulating but, perhaps more importantly, it is vibrant and hopeful for humans and venomous creatures as well. The biochemistry is artfully engaging and easy to follow. The author uses a deft hand blending breakthroughs and personal experiences to create an accessible and engaging story. It was literally better than many novels I have read in terms of entertainment.

    10. This is a wonderful narrative non-fiction book for anyone who loves science journalism. Wilcox's writing does more than just describe venomous animals, she paints a picture of the environment, people, and animals that transports you to an underwater cave or or a beach in Hawaii. She provides a nice balance of scientific facts and storytelling. If you are a fan of natural history and some of the world's most unusual animals, then this is the book for you.

    11. If you are not a biological scientist fascinated by the biochemical tricks produced by and from cool venomous creatures then you will not rate this book as high as I did. For me, it was the perfect amount of science, exploration, interesting anecdotes and inspiring speculation.

    12. I LOVE LEARNING ABOUT SUBSTANCES THAT CHANGE US. Man I loved this book, but I’m pretty sure it’s a very me book: aka someone who stayed in school an extra year to learn more about this stuff. Also known as I’m a nerd.

    13. This book was interesting and compelling. The concepts were well explained and the book was well organized.

    14. This book was absolutely wonderful! I have been pestering my family with stories from its chapters since I started reading it and couldn't seem to put it down!It was very easy to follow even when covering more difficult topics such as our immune and nervous systems. As a science major, it was refreshing to read something that wasn't aimed too far above or below me and I savored every word. This book was so intensely interesting that it almost tempted me into pursuing grad school (something that [...]

    15. This almost deserves five stars, simply because I finished it. It's a very good book, but lately I have been so preoccupied that I "drop out" before finishing even good books.I kept eventually picking Venomous back up, though, and reached the end. I am glad that I did.

    16. *Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*This is an amazing book. I love the beautiful image on the cover. The introduction was very good (I normally do not enjoy introductions and often skip them, but I liked the narrative and photos). I loved the inclusion of the first ever anti-venom, which was created in 1896, as I had thought anti-venom was a modern invention. I loved the flow and style of the writing, however there was two moments which rea [...]

    17. Christie Wilcox is an Awesome Lady of Science. This book had detailed info about exactly how the parts of venoms scientists have figured out so far affect humans and other animals and a lot of thrilling stories about human-animal interactions. Props for references to the venemous deaths of two of my mythic heroes, Ragnar Lothbrok and Steve Irwin. I also loved reading about how rattlesnakes were great symbols of America to Revolutionary War era leaders. Christie writes so well about her own scien [...]

    18. This is an absolutely fantastic read from start to finish. I was immediately drawn in by the wonder and awe the author has for these creatures. There is a perfect balance of hard science and anecdotal humor, but the shining star for me was how the author seamlessly and subtly puts everything in the context of evolution. Any good scientist, especially one who specializes in animals, sees the world around them through the lens of natural selection, and in this regard Wilcox helps the reader unders [...]

    19. [placeholder review because I have to be at work in 5 hours so I'm probably not going to write anything substantive at the moment]Good tour through the properties of venom, who wields it and how do they wield it, and what purposes does it serve. I read this at a fast clip because of a library due date, but definitely a pretty digestible size at a comfortable, lay audience level of prose (and without resorting to pop culture references that'll get dated! Aside from honey badgers of course, which [...]

    20. The book is full of interesting anecdotes and descriptions of how different venoms work, but it didn't manage to keep my attention, and I ended up having to force myself to pick it up. While I found the information interesting in itself, the novelty wore off quickly. I also found the mix and switch between very informal personal anecdotes (with mentions of past boyfriends and whatnot) and quite complex biochemistry perplexing. I'm not sure who the intended target audience was, but I felt it miss [...]

    21. I'd give this book 4.5 stars if I could. Wow was this book super interesting. The only reason I'm giving it 4.5 stars instead of 5 is that I feel like the last chapter - which talked all about how these venoms produced by various animals actually make very effective, highly specific drugs - should have been ~4 chapters instead of 10 pages. For me, it was the most interesting part of the entire book and it felt glazed over. The few examples that were given felt rushed compared to the rest of the [...]

    22. I genuinely loved this book. I learned so much reading this book, and it was so interesting. I swear every few pages I would stop reading so I could share what I had just learned and read about with others. There was never a dull moment in this book because I just found every part of it to be so fascinating. I am so glad that I read Venomous, I feel like it's one of those books that I want to recommend to everybody but not everybody is going to be interested. Whatever, I read it and it was aweso [...]

    23. I loved this book. I wish I could go back in time to the fall of 1998 and place this book in teen-me's hands and say, "This. This is what you really want to do. Figure out how and make it happen."I might still end up where I am today, but I think I would have had more fun getting here.Clarification for strangers: I have degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I loved the technical description of how the various toxins work at a molecular level. I fully admit that I'm a nerd and still, in [...]

    24. Stumbled on this book at the library and it was a pleasant surprise. Fascinating info about the venomous creatures that live amongst us - snakes, spiders, jellyfish, wasps. Light to moderate on science info. Funny, insightful, and quick read at less than 200 pages. For anyone who has ever been stung by a jellyfish or bee or bitten by a snake or spider you will get a kick reading about the toxicity level of different bites.

    25. An interesting, accessible, quick read - Christie Wilcox does a good job of making the biochemistry easy for laypeople to follow and understand, while still doing justice to the science. The vignettes about box jellies, parasitoid wasps, slow lorises, and platypus were especially engaging - "A male platypus angrily envenomating a towel" is perhaps the best figure note I have ever seen. The references list is separated by chapter and provides plenty of additional reading if one is so inclined.

    26. I don’t have a lot to say about Venomous: How Earth's Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry, other than the topic is fascinating and the book well written and interesting. It covers the evolution and natural history of venomous animals as well as the chemistry of various venoms and how they function in the body. In case you have doubts about the power of evolution, here’s a short video of a hemotoxic venom in action (not graphic): youtube/watch?v=4Wvnj

    27. Very well written, human interest as well as deep bio and evolutionary referencesThis book was advertised in Scientific American. It contains quite a bit of genetic, chemical, anatomical explanations, but is not overloaded with technical terms. I really liked it, for it completeness and depth. This book may contain info on the future of advanced therapies including for such puzzlers as ALS and MS.

    28. I skipped the science part of the book. Overall, it's deeply fascinating, made me want to dive into more books in this categories. My favorite has to be the Jewel Wasp story. It's amazing how nature works it manipulative power. They's so beautiful and ruthless. I never want to meet them in real life though I guess I stuck with the book.

    29. One of the best books I’ve read, absolutely fascinating story of wild creatures, evolutionary biology, toxins and the medical treatments they may uncover in the future. A very entertaining and fast read. I loved it

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