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NOVA: Venom: Nature’s Killer

Airs Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: King cobra, the world's longest venomous snake, swallows a Plumbeous water snake.

Bamboo pit vipers are widely distributed in Southeast Asia and are also found in urban areas. They are a common cause of snake bites resulting in bleeding problems.
Enlarge this image

Above: Bamboo pit vipers are widely distributed in Southeast Asia and are also found in urban areas. They are a common cause of snake bites resulting in bleeding problems.

Courtesy of Dr. Zoltan Takacs

Plumbeous water snake, a rear-fanged venomous snake. In general, its bite is not considered dangerous to humans, and its venom is less studied.

Spider Woman

In this interview, Maydianne Andrade explains the allure of her poisonous subjects, why spider research is important, and much more.

Venom scientists are in a race against time. Inside the bodies of many creatures, evolution has produced extremely toxic cocktails, all designed for one reason: to kill.

It took millions of years to perfect these ultimate brews of proteins and peptides, and we have only just begun to discover their potential. Now, the race is on to collect and study them before the animals that produce them disappear.

But how does venom do its deadly work? NOVA reveals how venom causes the body to shut down, arteries to bleed uncontrollably and limbs to go black and die.

But nature’s most destructive and extreme poisons could contain the building blocks for a new generation of advanced drugs that could treat heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity and cancer.

“Venom: Nature's Killer” follows two scientists on their expeditions to track down and capture the planet’s most deadly creatures, risking life and limb just to tease out milligrams of venom and get it back to the lab. Find out how nature’s deadliest cocktails could be medicine’s brightest new hope.

This program originally aired in 2011.

NOVA is on Facebook, and you can follow @novapbs on Twitter.

Video

Preview: NOVA: Venom: Nature's Killer

Above: “Venom” follows two scientists on their expeditions to track down and capture the planet’s most deadly creatures. Find out how nature’s deadliest cocktails could be medicine’s brightest new hope.

Video

Venom: Nature's Killer (Expires 2/24/14)

Above: The full episode is available for online viewing through February 24, 2014.

Comments

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