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UA Research, Expertise Had Global Impact in '16

UA Research, Expertise Had Global Impact in '16 | CALS in the News | Scoop.it
From unprecedented space exploration initiatives to a deeper understanding of how viruses spread to the socio-economic influence of ramen noodles, University of Arizona researchers found themselves at the forefront of some of the year's most exciting and eye-opening discoveries. Here are 10 UA-related stories that generated headlines across the globe in 2016: 1. Bound for Bennu! OSIRIS-REx Launch Was 'Perfect,' Sept. 9
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Meet the adorable little snail that could kill you

Meet the adorable little snail that could kill you | CALS in the News | Scoop.it
If you are not already paranoid enough, here’s something new to worry about: Extremely tiny creatures that can destroy your life. According to the Daily Mail, some of the smallest living things pack the deadliest punches.

If you happen to be swimming in the ocean, for example, and have a run-in with a box jellyfish, say your prayers. This sea creature contains what the Mail says is “the most explosive envenomation process known to humans.” It takes just minutes for a sting to turn fatal. On the other hand, if you are fortunate enough to be a turtle, you will be immune to the box’s killer dose, and you might even eat one for a snack. While in the deep, if you swim up against a lovely looking cone snail, you will not fare much better: Its harpoon can cut through a wet suit, and the mollusk’s poison comes loaded with “weaponized insulin.”

While most of us try to avoid these creepy critters, there’s a subculture of idiots who put their lives on the line in order to experience venomous bites. Coyote Peterson, the man who fronts Brave Wilderness Channel on YouTube, set himself up to be stung by a wasp that’s famous for swooping down on tarantulas. The bite is said to be the second most agonizing in the world, which is astonishingly good for Peterson. “I’m on a quest to find the most painful sting in the animal kingdom,” he told the Mail, discussing the swooping wasp. “It’s like being stung with a taser, and they say it puts you in a state of paralysis.”



University of Arizona entomologist Justin Schmidt is so into it that he authored “The Sting of the Wild” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016) and put together a pain index that ranks various stings. Riding high on his list: the bullet ant. This bug is so named because its sting is said to be as excruciating as getting shot by a bullet. According to Live Science, Schmidt describes the bite as “pure, intense, brilliant pain, like walking over flaming charcoal with a three-inch nail embedded in your heel.”

As he told National Geographic, though, the bite leaves no evident mark of its seriousness. “It’s almost disappointing to go through that and be rendered a babbling idiot, crying, and not even have a big red spot to show people,” Schmidt says. Bullet ants “take away even that satisfaction.”
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