Episode 10 (out now!): Dr. Baldomero Olivera on cone snails

Dr. Olivera is a renowned scientists with discoveries credited to his name in the field of DNA enzymes and, the topic of today’s episode, cone snail toxins. The video below shows just how dangerous these animals can be. Luckily, as Dr. Olivera explains in the interview at the end of his seminar, you have to really perturb the little guys to get stung as a human. That being said, harnessing our natural environment to treat human disease has never been more interesting. Who would’ve thought that something so deadly has the potential to save millions of lives! The components of various cone snail toxins, called conotoxins, have proved to effectively treat a variety of diseases including chronic pain, epilepsy, and type II diabetes. Be sure to listen to this gem and watch the video below to get an idea of what these creatures look like and hunt like in the wild.

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