UA Science Café at SaddleBrooke TWO – 'Venoms: The Chemistry of Life and Death'
Presenter: Matt Cordes, associate professor, UA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Talk: "Venoms: The Chemistry of Life and Death"
Venoms are biological cocktails used for defense and predation. Our research looks at how the chemistry of protein toxins in recluse spider venoms causes skin lesions and life-threatening reactions in humans, as well as lethal effects on insect prey. In some cases, these venom toxins originated as harmless proteins but anciently mutated and ultimately utilized as toxins by widely different organisms such as bacteria and spiders. Perhaps surprisingly, venoms are not just instruments of destruction, but have medicinal uses. Recently, venom molecules from animals like tarantulas and vipers have been used for human ailments ranging from pain to problems of the circulatory system. These are molecules of death, but also of life!
UA Science Café at SaddleBrooke TWO series: "Mysteries Revealed: Understanding Chemistry"
We start this series with the history of how chemical sciences began and our how our fundamental understanding has led to everyday, modern advances and medical breakthroughs. Who knew that the invention of beer making would kick start a series of groundbreaking discoveries encompassing human and environmental health? A myriad of topics, ranging from the properties of snake venom to the chemical drivers of human behavior, will be explored. Join the conversation!
About Science Cafés: Science Cafés, presented by the UA College of Science, bring the community together with UA scientists and graduate students in a casual setting. You'll learn about the latest research being conducted, get to know the faces behind the science, and have opportunities to ask questions and deepen your understanding. We have four separate café series at five different locations around Tucson, each with their own themes for fascinating science discussions.