Christie Wilcox "Nature's Deadliest Biochemists: A Love Story"
Venomous animals and the potent chemical cocktails they wield have fascinated our species since the dawn of human history, and perhaps even longer. They are nature's most feared creatures, and yet, these notorious animals hold the keys to a deeper understanding of evolution, physiology, and medicine. In this lecture, Christie Wilcox—author of Venomous: How Earth's Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry—will show how the animals we love to loathe have actually helped us all along. From teaching us how our bodies work at the molecular level to providing targeted therapeutics for our most devastating diseases, and perhaps even driving the evolution of our big brains, venomous animals have been our species' allies, not enemies. And with modern technology finally able to decipher the biochemical knowledge contained in their genomes, venomous creatures will only continue to help humanity tackle our biggest challenges over the coming centuries.
Christie Wilcox, PhD, is an award-winning science writer based in the Seattle area. She pens the Science Sushi blog for Discover Magazine, and her bylines include The Washington Post, Popular Science, and Quanta. At five years old, she told her teacher she liked to "open the mouths of dead geckos to look at their tongues"—an obsession with animals that has only deepened through her scientific career. Her debut book, Venomous, explores the fascinating science behind the deadliest chemical cocktails on the planet made by some of the world's most notorious species.