Treating snakebites, and European shags
8 November 2011
This week in the Planet Earth Podcast: Sue Nelson visits the largest collection of venomous snakes in the UK to find out how researchers are developing antivenoms to help African snakebite victims; and what scientists are doing to understand why populations of the European shag are declining.
Almost two million people around the world are bitten by poisonous snakes every year. Yet despite the fact that we know how to treat snakebites, nearly 100,000 people still die.
The problem is that producing antivenom and treating snakebite is expensive, because each treatment is specific to a particular snake's venom. Sue speaks to some Liverpool scientists who are trying to help solve the problem by finding out if antivenom made for one snake could be effective against other snakes.
Later, Sue talks to a researcher from the University of Aberdeen who's trying to find out why European shag populations are declining. While it's easy to keep track of them while they're on land, it's more challenging trying to find out where they go for the other six months of the year. But finding out could yield new clues to their decline.
Click the play button above to listen now.
A full text transcript is available.
Finally, how West Nile Virus could be a threat to Galápagos Island wildlife, and why the solar cycle and winter weather in the northern hemisphere are linked.
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