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U=(N/T)M*G: Venom

Despite the fact this year has been cursed, and yes I really believe that, we’re lucky a few rays of blissful sunlight have shown through. We, as a society, are figuring out new and exciting ways to connect to each other. Many are taking the lock-downs as a great opportunity to create or hone things they’ve wanted more time on. And yet more are taking that staycation they’ve needed for years. It’s been difficult, stressful, even heart-wrenching at times this year, but we’re managing.

Here’s one of those little rays of sunshine to get your writing brain thinking. Bees. Yes, bees. Honestly, these industrious little creatures are essential not only to this planet but to humans specifically, in ways I don’t think we’re quite aware of. Beyond crop pollination, that is.

Cancer sucks, lemme say that first. I hate cancer. Friends, family and coworkers of mine have grapple with the deadly beast, sometimes on more than one occasion and it kills me that I can’t do anything about except support them and raise awareness. I know I’m not the only one who feels so helpless.

Bees though, it looks like they might be able to help us out with it. A group of scientists have been testing bee venom, of all things, and found this neat little molecule in honeybee venom that seems to go to town on breast cancer cells. Humanity is no stranger to surprise science or interesting twists in our scientific travels, so I’m hoping this really pans out.

Discoveries like this do make me wonder though, what else is out there to help us battle our own biological issues. Not just on this planet either, but on worlds we haven’t even been to yet. Maybe the brine on Mars has something to treat liver failure better than what we’ve got now. Or the methane lakes on Titan carry a microbe that could cure Alzheimer’s.

Which comes over into plots now. That weed your character thought was useless? Or the annoying beetles who like to dive bomb children out in the fields as they play? That strange, cat-like creature probably has some secrets too, if someone looks hard enough.

Some ideas to spread around, in case you’re looking.

-T.A. Creech

Science in the pursuit of fiction.


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