Coupon
Venomous : How Earth's Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry
by Christie Wilcox


Overview -

A thrilling tale of encounters with nature s masters of biochemistry

From the coasts of Indonesia to the rainforests of Peru, venomous animals are everywhere and often lurking out of sight. Humans have feared them for centuries, long considering them the assassins and pariahs of the natural world.  Read more...


 
Hardcover
  • $26.00

Add to Cart + Add to Wishlist

In Stock Online.

FREE Shipping for Club Members
 
> Check In-Store Availability

In-Store pricing may vary

 
 
New & Used Marketplace 42 copies from $8.00
 
Download

This item is available only to U.S. billing addresses.
 
 
 
 

More About Venomous by Christie Wilcox
 
 
 
Overview

A thrilling tale of encounters with nature s masters of biochemistry

From the coasts of Indonesia to the rainforests of Peru, venomous animals are everywhere and often lurking out of sight. Humans have feared them for centuries, long considering them the assassins and pariahs of the natural world.

Now, in "Venomous," the biologist Christie Wilcox investigates and illuminates the animals of our nightmares, arguing that they hold the keys to a deeper understanding of evolution, adaptation, and immunity. She reveals just how venoms function and what they do to the human body. With Wilcox as our guide, we encounter a jellyfish with tentacles covered in stinging cells that can kill humans in minutes; a two-inch caterpillar with toxic bristles that trigger hemorrhaging; and a stunning blue-ringed octopus capable of inducing total paralysis. How do these animals go about their deadly work? How did they develop such intricate, potent toxins? Wilcox takes us around the world and down to the cellular level to find out.

Throughout her journey, Wilcox meets the intrepid scientists who risk their lives studying these lethal beasts, as well as self-immunizers who deliberately expose themselves to snakebites. Along the way, she puts her own life on the line, narrowly avoiding being envenomated herself. Drawing on her own research, Wilcox explains how venom scientists are untangling the mechanisms of some of our most devastating diseases, and reports on pharmacologists who are already exploiting venoms to produce lifesaving drugs. We discover that venomous creatures are in fact keystone species that play crucial roles in their ecosystems and ours and for this alone, they ought to be protected and appreciated.

Thrilling and surprising at every turn, "Venomous" will change everything you thought you knew about the planet s most dangerous animals."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780374283377
  • ISBN-10: 0374283370
  • Publisher: Scientific American
  • Publish Date: August 2016
  • Page Count: 256
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Science > Life Sciences - Evolution
Books > Science > Life Sciences - Zoology - General
Books > Science > Life Sciences - Biochemistry

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-05-16
  • Reviewer: Staff

Wilcox, a molecular biologist, takes readers on a lively tour of animals that boast the ability to kill and maim others via their venom. Throughout the book, she uses an evolutionary framework to ask and answer questions about the origin and maintenance of venom across a wide swath of the animal kingdom. Wilcox impressively integrates personal anecdotes—once she was stung by a venomous sea urchin while teaching second graders about marine life—with summaries of the scientific literature, and brings to life the wonders of an intriguing but little-known portion of the biological world. She explores various venoms’ modes of action: disrupting nerve function, altering blood chemistry, and manipulating immune function. Wilcox discusses current research that has serious implications for human health; in one researcher’s estimation, animal venoms are a potential “pharmacological gold mine.” There is also reason to believe that it might be possible for scientists to craft a universal antivenom that will save significant numbers of lives annually. Whether she’s discussing snakes and pufferfish or Komodo dragons and spiders—not to mention octopuses, snails, platypuses, and bees—Wilcox relates technical biochemical and physiological information in a manner that is accessible and enjoyable. Agency: Susan Rabiner Literary. (Aug.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews