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Venomous Pesticides

January 13, 2010, 5:55 AM
Deadly scorpion venom is being used to create new eco-friendly pesticides as some types of venom are harmful only to insects and unlikely to harm larger creatures. “Scorpions are notorious for harnessing a powerful, debilitating venom in their tails. Some species harbor venom potent enough to kill a human being. But other parts of that venom cocktail are only intended for other insects--and only affect other insects. If the strains of venom that do so were to be isolated, that could be a pretty potent insecticide, right? One researcher thought so--so he concocted a brand new, ecologically safe pesticide from the deadly venom found in scorpions. While 'ecologically safe pesticide made from scorpion venom' is a phrase that appears to be chock full of contradiction, it could actually mark an important advance for agriculture and human health. This is why: as of now, the ag industry uses pyrethroids almost exclusively, which work by penetrating insect bodies, attacking their nervous systems, and finally causing paralysis and death. Problem is, these compounds ‘lack specificity,’ according to Science Daily, and the compounds pose a danger ‘to the environment, livestock and humans.’”

Venomous Pesticides

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