If we told you about a small facility containing over 500 poisonous snakes, you might think we were describing the lair of a Bond villain.
But nope, quite the opposite—the Clodomiro Picado Institute in Costa Rica is among only a handful of labs responsible for producing a majority of the world’s antivenins. For the roughly one million people bitten by venomous snakes every year.
The scientists at the Institute produce life-saving work—they just need to remain vigilant to avoid bites as well.
Molecules in venom that prevent blood from clotting — with the aim of getting the snake’s prey to bleed to death — are now used in drugs aimed at treating strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure in humans.