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Tag Archives: scorpion venom

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Scorpions as Pets – an Overview of their Care

Buthus ScorpionI can’t remember a time when scorpions did not fascinate me, and their lure grows stronger with each new species I encounter.  In the past, I’ve written on the care and natural history of Emperor, Flat Rock, Asian Forest and other popular scorpions.  Today I’d like to present a general overview.  I hope it will help you to decide if a scorpion is the right choice for you and if so, how to get started.

What’s in Store for Scorpion Fans

Among the world’s 2,000+ scorpion species we find an astonishing diversity of fascinating creatures, many of which make hardy pets that adjust well to small enclosures.  Several reproduce readily in captivity – lucky scorpion keepers may even be treated to the sight of a female feeding her offspring with crickets!  At least 15 species are established in the pet trade, and specialists are working with several others. Read More »

Research Update – Medically Useful Proteins Found in Scorpion Venom

Scorpion venom has recently undergone an image upgrade…once feared, these little-studied toxins are now yielding valuable medicines. Researchers at China’s Wuhan University have recently (August, 2009) discovered 9 new types of peptides and proteins in the venom of Scorpiops jendeki, a scorpion native to southwestern China.

Current Research

Although considered only mildly toxic, S. jendeki’s venom is quite complex, containing at least 19 different proteins. Scientists believe that these molecules may be useful in synthesizing new drugs. Newly discovered molecules, which may attack cells in novel ways, are always looked upon with great interest by medical researchers working with incurable diseases and drug-resistant microbes.

Role for a Deadly Scorpion

In recent years, even the much-maligned “death stalker” or Israeli yellow scorpion (Leiurus quinquestriatus) is being treated with new respect in the lab – an irradiated version of a protein in its venom shows great promise in the treatment of brain cancer.

Further Reading

You can read more about current research involving scorpion venom and brain cancer at http://www.nano.org.uk/news/april2009/latest1847.htm.


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