Friday, November 17, 2006

Chili Pepper Spiders?

` I came across a Nature article that I thought was both interesting and almost bizarre!
` It turns out that the venom of the West Indian tarantula (Psalmopoeus cambridgei), has the ability to cause pain and inflammation in the same way that chili peppers do! The receptors that are sensitive to the capsaicin of hot peppers are also triggered by three peptides found in the tarantula's venom!

` It seems that these large spiders have stumbled upon the same mechanism as a plant with small, round berries to deter would-be predators! However, the peptides in the tarantula venom cause an excitory response while similarly-structured peptides that bind to other ion channels are inhibitory. Thus, they are somewhat unusual.

7 comments:

T DWORSKY said...

So is this tarantula tastey too? That's the real question.

This is rather fun, talking back and forth.

S E E Quine said...

` Indeed! Hey, I bet it would be especially nice in a burrito!

Galtron said...

You could open your own restaurant - Tacos del Madriguera!

S E E Quine said...

` I had to look up what that means. Brilliant, Galtron! It also serves Badger Burritos, Possum Posole, and Rabbit Tacos with Mole Mole!

mizzbeehive1963 said...

EEEEEEK! Get it off! Get it off!


Did I ever mention that I'm afraid of spiders?

S E E Quine said...

` In fact, I did. That's why I keep all my 'pets' away from you when you're over.

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