Don’t Worry…

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It’s only a flesh wound.



Leading venom expert Bryan Fry comes face to face with a python. Fry has just shown that, while pythons are not venomous in the normal sense, their saliva does retain trace elements of venoms from ancestral snakes (explain that creationists). This can be a problem because these can cross react with tests in venom diagnosis kits, causing doctors to give people anti-venoms when they are not necessary. Since a single vial of anti-venom can cost $2000, and many outback hospitals only have one for each sort of venom, using the only one going when it is not needed can be a real issue.

It looked to me as though the python was wrapped around Fry’s throat and I asked him if this had worried him. He explained that it was not, adding, “I may be crazy, but I am not stupid.” Anyone who has dealt with Fry at all will know that both these things are entirely true.

About Stephen Luntz

I am a science journalist, specialising in Australian and New Zealand research across all fields of science. My book, Forensics, Fossils and Fruitbats: A Field Guide to Australian Scientists is out now through CSIRO Publishing. I am also a professional returning officer for non-government organisations. I'm very politically active, but generally try to restrict this blog to scientific matters.
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