October 01, 2020

“Spiderwoman” Sits Down with Big Biology Podcast

Biology professor and spider expert Greta Binford is the featured guest on the latest Big Biology podcast! Listen to the episode to hear Greta answer the question of whether venom use is based on body size, and how venom from Spiderman applies to this question.

Sarai Miranda BA ?20 (center) works with lab assistant Sophia Horigan BA ?17 and Associate Profes... 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.