“This is wonderful!”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4846504.stm Our learned commentator has finally got her snails on air. These are carnivorous beasties which live on coral reefs. Now, if you’re a snail, there is not much hope of running your prey down, or even following it if it is wounded. So you need poisons that will drop your victim dead at once, and these, delivered by a dart, are what cone snails have evolved. They are the most deadly and sophisticated neurotoxins imaginable. Because they attack so many different pathways in the victims’ nervous systems, they can be disassembled to provide ingredients for all sorts of useful drugs. But enough of the grave and serious science. Killer snails are quite wonderful in themselves.
I would urge you all to “listen to the programme”:http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/pip/s8cpb/ when it goes out tomorrow. It might be nearly as much fun as hearing her tell the story in a pub.