By Kate Becker | Posted 02.17.11 | NOVA
For hundreds of millions of years, evolution has been perfecting its own brand of biological warfare: venom. The toxic compounds in venom are finely honed weapons capable of launching precision attacks against cells in the nervous system, bloodstream, and organs. Now, medical researchers are tapping these potent chemical cocktails to develop new therapies for cancer, heart disease, and chronic pain. Nature’s swords, it turns out, can make powerful medical ploughshares..