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“Spiderwoman” Sits Down with Big Biology Podcast

October 01, 2020

Sarai Miranda BA ’20 (center) works with lab assistant Sophia Horigan BA ’17 and Associate Pr...Sarai Miranda BA ’20 (center) works with lab assistant Sophia Horigan BA ’17 and Associate Professor of Biology Greta Binford to study properties of spiders and their venoms.You’ve probably heard the urban legend: Daddy long-leg spiders possess extremely toxic venom—so toxic that it would kill a human if only their fangs were long/strong enough to penetrate human skin.

In 2019, after more than a decade of research, Professor of Biology and Department Chair Greta Binford and Research Associate and Visiting Professor Pamela Zobel-Thropp discovered for the first time what is in the venom of these animals, and compiled evidence of the effects of their venoms on humans. The new evidence crushes that old urban legend.

Binford sat down with the Big Biology podcast to talk about her research, her passion for arachnology, and all things spider venom.