Saturday, May 3, 2014

Scorpion Venom!

Soooo....I'm imagining the thinking here:  I have a mass spec.  What is the most badass thing I can do with it?  What is more badass than sequencing Scorpion venom?  Nothing.  Sorry.

This masterpiece of awesomeness comes from Stephean Schaffrath and Reinhard Predel and is in this month's Open Proteomics.  In case you were wondering if they realized how cool this was, just check out the image they submitted:

I can't exactly tell what is happening but I think that I'm looking at a Scorpion wearing handcuffs just hanging out by a mass spec.  I'm not sure.

And they went out of their way to justify this.  Not just: "this is so awesome, we have to do it".  No, they say that understanding scorpion venom might help us develop antidotes.  Bingo!

Now, they do use a MALDI, but they are doing simple barcoding.  And its on Scorpion venom, so they get a pass for just about anything.

For an encore?  They do some scorpion arm wrestling!  Nope.  Made that part up.  In fact, I was sure that was a thing -- even a scene in Over the Top (Stallone arm wrestling where the loser gets stung by a scorpion).

And I remember an episode of the A-team where Mr. T did it.  I may be making it up, cause Google is treating me like I'm a crazy person and not coming up with any images.

Okay, so this study is cool.  And unique (so far as I know).  If you are looking to get a redneck kid interested in science, this is exactly the kind of story you should tell him/her about.  Also recommended for anyone who is interested in peptide fingerprinting (barcoding).  Remember, these technologies are still around, and still good for all sorts of things.  Definitely check this paper out...or...

"Get over here!"
Last stupid Scorpion reference, I promise.

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