Four Australian funnel spiders, Vlad the Impaler, Adolph, Brutus, and Caligula, are dastardly, eight-legged characters in my upcoming novel Spider, the second in my new Chesapeake Tugboat Murder series. The Spider, a scientist who uses “the boys” to assist in envenomation experiments at the fictional Tolchester College on the Chesapeake definitely skirts ethical scientific protocol when it comes to the use of human subjects.
The same funnel spider venom that the Spider uses has been found by real-life investigators at two Australian universities to reduce damage to neurons after a stroke. Many venoms contain a group of chemicals, usually peptides, whose action is to block chemically- and/or voltage-gated channels, and synaptic transmission in their prey. Now one of the chemicals isolated from the funnel spider venom might be a life saver to stroke victims. Have a look at this fascinating study published today in the Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/21/venom-funnel-web-spider-could-prevent-brain-damage-strokes-world/
The megalomaniacal Spider is seething that someone scooped her in this research! Coming summer 2017 … Spider
Quote in title by Mary Howitt, 1829