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Biology 10, Lesson 120 – Poisonous Arthropods

Every species on Earth, no matter how annoying or terrifying, has a purpose.  When someone says the word “scorpion”, the first thing most people think of are their pincers and painful venom.  But what if I said that the venom of a scorpion could benefit humans?

Scorpions are known for their pincers and poisonous tail.  But what many do not know is that scorpion venom, unlike the venom of other arthropods, is comprised of several different poisons.  This is because the scorpion hunts several different species.  A poison that may work on one creature might not work on another.  Their venom is known to contain neurotoxins and enzyme inhibitors, which will kill any of a scorpion’s prey.  To humans however, scorpion venom is not deadly unless your immune system is already compromised in some way.

The Deathstalker scorpion, scientifically known as Leiurus Quinquestriatus, carries isolated enzyme inhibitors in their venom.  These isolated inhibitors can, hypothetically, be modified and used as a way to bind with brain tumors and kill the tumor without affecting the nearby healthy cells.

If a scorpion’s venom can do this, imagine what other arthropods’ venom can do after being researched and modified.

As you can see, scorpions can be very beneficial to humans.  Even the most frightening animals can have important benefits to humans.

Thanks for reading!


Author: sophiaelahirpc

10th Grade student in the Ron Paul Curriculum. Full-time teen writer living in Singapore.

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