Who could have thought that scorpions are not something to be scared of but something you need to look for in order to get rich. Not literally but as the Moroccan scientists new creation of a robot extracting venom from scorpions has gotten attention of the world on an animal so far despised by humans and the invention has made the extraction safer for the humans and less hazardous for the scorpions themselves.
“The extraction of scorpion venom is a very difficult task and usually takes at least two experimenters,” said Mouad Mkamel, who built the robot with a team of researchers from Ben M’sik Hassan II University in Morocco. (eandt.theiet.org)
So far harvested manually, the process can potentially be deadly for harvesters, which is why scientists developed a robot that can do the milking for them.
The researchers said that they designed VES-4 -- a lightweight, portable robot -- that can be used in lab and on field. (scienceworldreport.com)
Scorpion venom has been used for medicine, including cancer cancer research harvested manually, the process can potentially be deadly for harvesters, which is why scientists developed a robot that can do the milking for them. (scienceworldreport.com)
Scorpion venom is not actually as simple as it is made out to be. Research in 2013 showed that the venom can actively work as a painkiller. If proven effective, the venom can eventually lead to the development of new drugs for humans.
The painkiller from scorpion venom could also assist in future studies regarding cancer treatments. Scorpion venom can illuminate into a so-called "tumor paint" that uses fluorescent molecules attached to natural toxins. These attach to cancers, effectively lighting them up, and can someday pinpoint the exact location and extent of cancerous growths.
In an unlikely tandem, scorpion venom may also help in the fight against malaria. In 2011, a researcher from the University of Maryland was able to modify fungus loaded with a substance from scorpion venom. With this, scientists were able to attack malaria parasites found in mosquitoes.
Gathering the venom can be hazardous – which is why someone has developed a "milking machine" to do the job.
Unfortunately, the first method exposes practitioners to the risk of stings and electric shocks, while the second is harmful to the animal itself.
Once they're secured, built-in electrodes are used to deliver electric shocks, causing them to secrete droplets of venom which are collected in removable vials – different shock levels can be applied to different species of scorpion, and saved as presets. (newatlas.com)
One informal analysis ranked scorpion venom as the most expensive liquid on earth, at nearly $39 million per gallon ($8.5 million per litre). While scorpion venom is highly sought after, the traditional methods for harvesting it can be life-threatening.
Scorpion venom is a complex substance, capable of producing a range of specialised effects in different animals. It contains proteins and other biologically active compounds, many of which are valuable in medical research and treatments. They are used in immunosuppressants, anti-malarial drugs and some cancer research. (eandt.theiet.org)