"Building a better M.O.U.S.E. Trap"
January 11, 2019 8:26 AM   Subscribe

On a recent episode of the podcast Nerdette, host Greta Johnson interviewed Dr. Mandë Holford on the work she conducts at the Holford Lab where they “use a "learn-from-nature" evolutionarily integrated strategy, Mollusks to Medicine, to discover novel peptides from venomous marine snails that could be used to manipulate cellular physiology pertaining to pain and cancer.”

As noted in the episode, Dr. Holford is the cofounder of KillerSnails a collection of interactive games to inspire of love of science through discovery. You can hear more about Dr. Holdford’s work from this YouTube video from American Museum of Natural History. In this video she reviews the long history of cross-culturally finding “in nature different compounds for treating several different kind of ailments” before introducing her research into venomous snails. (The 5:04 mark of this video includes an example of a “killer snail” hunting and consuming it’s prey.)

Dr. Holford was named a World Economic Young Scientist. You can find the class of 2018 Young Scientists here.

Nerdette also recently rebroadcast their episode on CRISPR where host Greta Johnson discusses her (and her father’s) diagnosis of Best Disease, which causes premature macular degeneration. In addition to hosting the podcast, Johnson also posts mini-book review on the podcast’s instagram account.

Tricia Bobeda cofounded Nerdette with Johnson and you can hear an excellent episode with Bobeda called Science Experiments To Knowhere: A Field Trip To Argonne National Lab.

(The title of the post comes from the above Youtube video at about 11:10 where Dr. Holford examples M.O.U.S.E stands for Marine Organisms Used in Shuttle Encapsulation, which is a process to deliver drugs developed from marine organisms across the blood-brain barrier.)
posted by CMcG (1 comment total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Nature knows no bounds except for that which humans despoil.
posted by mightshould at 3:34 PM on January 11

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