Ferocious Medicine: Alligators and Snakes Could Save Our Lives

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You hug trees, right? How about snakes and alligators? Gulp. Definitely two kinds of creatures you wouldn’t want thrashing about in your medicine cabinet. Whether you like them or not, these ancient animals are proving their value in gold to medical researchers studying pain and deadly diseases. In the everglades of Florida and the bayous of Louisiana, scientists have learned that reptiles like alligators are extraordinarily sensitive to pesticides, fertilizers and other pollutants, says a news report by Sun Sentinal. Alligators may be a useful early-warning system of possible hazards to people. Like the giraffe's neck and the hawk's eye, the alligator's immune system, they say, is an adaptation to its environment and behavior. Scientists are hoping that a whole range of anti-viral and anti-bacterial drugs can be created by understanding the inner-workings of the alligator’s immune system. See story. On the other side of the swamp (well actually, it’s more like the other side of the sandbox here in Israel)- another slithering and highly underrated specimen, the Palestinian Pit Viper, recently made its debut on The Scotsman for its highly potent venom. Researcher Naftali Primor says viper venom can curb pain and heal arthritis. ::Scotsman :: Sun Sentinal

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