Making the most of a meal
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Tree Frogs
Frogs and Toads
Pothole Repair, Insect-style
How to Silence a Cricket
A Sense of Danger
Supersonic Splash
Talking with Hands
World’s largest lizard is venomous too
Chemistry and Materials
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Sweeeet! The Skinny on Sugar Substitutes
Picture the Smell
Music of the Future
Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
Lighting goes digital
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Really Big (but Extinct) Rodent
Downsized Dinosaurs
Dino-Dining Dinosaurs
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Slip Slidin' Away—Under the Sea
Science loses out when ice caps melt
A Dire Shortage of Water
Bald Eagles Forever
Shrinking Fish
Hazy with a Chance of Sunshine
Finding the Past
Your inner Neandertal
Salt and Early Civilization
Digging Up Stone Age Art
Puffer Fish
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Skates and Rays
Food and Nutrition
A Pepper Part that Burns Fat
Eat Out, Eat Smart
The Essence of Celery
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Adjectives and Adverbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Monkeys Count
Detecting True Art
Human Body
Cell Phone Tattlers
Sea Kids See Clearly Underwater
Surviving Olympic Heat
Camel Spiders
Spectacled Bear
Golden Retrievers
How children learn
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
IceCube Science
Powering Ball Lightning
Speedy stars
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
Bright Blooms That Glow
Space and Astronomy
A Planet from the Early Universe
Cousin Earth
Pluto, plutoid: What's in a name?
Technology and Engineering
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
Supersuits for Superheroes
Crime Lab
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Verb?
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Robots on a Rocky Road
Where rivers run uphill
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Arctic Melt
Earth's Poles in Peril
Add your Article

Taking the sting out of scorpion venom

About as long as a human finger, the Arizona bark scorpion is small enough that most people probably don’t even notice it. Unless they happen to step on one — and that’s a different story. The scorpion’s sting contains a poison so powerful that it can seriously harm or even kill a child.Every year, more than 200 children in Arizona and New Mexico become seriously ill from the sting of this scorpion. Many more get stung but have milder effects. There is no government-approved cure for treatment of this scorpion’s sting in the United States. But now there is hope for an antivenom, and it comes from Mexico. A team of scientists in Arizona recently studied a remedy that is given to stung children in Mexico. The scientists found that the drug works quickly to reduce the harm caused by the venom. The scorpion’s venom is a type of neurotoxin. “Neuro” means nervous system and “toxin” means poison, so a neurotoxin is a poison that attacks the nervous system. A child who gets stung may start thrashing about, or moving violently, and have trouble breathing. At the hospital, the victim is given a sedative, or a drug that calms. The poison’s effects may take hours or days to wear off. An adult who gets stung usually feels a lot of pain, but the symptoms are less severe. Leslie Boyer of the University of Arizona in Tucson is a pediatrician who helped test the antivenom that is given in Mexico. In 2004 and 2005, she and her team of scientists conducted a study on 15 children who had been stung by the scorpion. Each child, when admitted to the hospital, was given either the antivenom from Mexico or a placebo. A placebo is a common tool used by researchers who want to test how well a medication works. A placebo looks like medicine, but it is neutral — which means it has no chemical effect on the person. Researchers use a placebo so that people who participate in a study don’t know if they’ve received the experimental medicine. In fact, typically even the doctors who give the medicine don’t know if they’re giving a placebo or the real medicine. At the end of a study, since all the participants receive a similar-looking treatment, the researchers can see if the people who got the medication did better or worse than those who got the placebo. In the Arizona bark scorpion study, eight children were given the antivenom. After only one hour, all signs of the scorpion venom were gone from their bodies. They all recovered completely within four hours of treatment. Of the seven children who received the placebo, only one recovered in four hours. That child was the oldest and heaviest participant in the study. The rest of the children required more time and more sedatives. All eventually recovered, and none of the children died. This study suggests the antivenom used in Mexico could make life easier for kids in the United States who get stung by this scorpion — if the drug is approved for use north of the border. Meanwhile, Boyer and her team are now expanding their research to all of Arizona, so that they may reach more scorpion victims. The antivenom may be useful in rural areas, where children who get stung are far from large hospitals. Power words: Venom: A poisonous secretion of an animal, such as a snake, spider or scorpion, usually transmitted by a bite or sting. Sedative: An agent or a drug having a soothing, calming or tranquilizing effect. Nervous system: The system of cells, tissues, and organs that regulates the body's responses to internal and external stimuli. In vertebrates it consists of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of other organs. Neurotoxin: A toxin that damages or destroys nerve tissue. Pediatrician: A doctor who specializes in the care of infants and children. Placebo: An inactive substance or preparation used as a control in an experiment or test to determine the effectiveness of a medicinal drug.

Taking the sting out of scorpion venom
Taking the sting out of scorpion venom

Designed and Powered by™