BigBiology Podcasts
 
Episode 048: An 8-legged bite: The Evolution of Venom in Spiders and Beyond

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Interviewer(s)

Art Woods, Marty Martin

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Interviewee(s)

Greta Binford

Description

How did the Brown Recluse get its powerful bite? How widespread is venom across the tree of life? How do spiders use their venoms?

On this episode of Big Biology, we talk with spider venom expert Greta Binford (@gretabinford), a Biology Professor and Biology Department Chair at Lewis & Clark University. Her lab explores the vast chemical richness of spider venom and how those venoms have evolved. We talked with Greta about the function of venom, how it’s evolved throughout the tree of life, and the surprising role horizontal gene transfer--the idea that genes can jump sideways from one species into another--may have played in the origins of spider venom. Also, we get her candid thoughts on some cult spider horror flicks.

We also cover her 2018 scientific paper on venom protein evolution, which you can find here.

Cover photo: This brown recluse or violin spider (Loxosceles reclusa) is a species of spider native to North America via Wikimedia Commons. Rosa Pineda (author) (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Date Published

9-2020

Language

eng

Length of Episode

46 minutes, 25 seconds

Digital File Format

audio/mp3

Document Type

Podcast

Episode 048: An 8-legged bite: The Evolution of Venom in Spiders and Beyond

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