Featured Project: The Yin Yang World of Venom

Featured Project: The Yin Yang World of Venom

Jarrett Byrnes

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySna23ibJL4&w=560&h=315]

Snakes! On a #SciFund proposal!

No, really. Today’s featured project is The Yin Yang World of Venom bu Chip Cochran. Chip has a fantastic proposal looking at venom variation in snakes. Why look at snake venom variation? Well, as Chip explains, we know that things like the color of snakes varies from population to population. So, why not venom?

And, really, who wants to be bit by a snake, go to the hospital, and told ‘Oops! We don’t have the anti-venom from THAT population of snakes. Sorry!’

Not only this, but, that variation in venom might be useful for discovering other drugs.

OK, so this is all well and good, but, Snakes! Gila Monsters! Awesome herps! One of the great selling points of Chip’s research is that it revolves around organisms that we’re all fascinated by. Who doesn’t want to know more about these interesting creatures.

What intrigues me is his video. Not because it’s a nice clear presentation of his work and its importance, but because Chip is one of the few people who did two videos. Two! He didn’t like his first one, so, put up a second. It’s an interesting exercise to compare them.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9u-z-zJr-0&w=560&h=315]

Really, if he had just done this video, that would have been great. I mean, Taipans crawling up the sticks he’s holding while he gives a nice little talk about the importance of venom. Cool! But he rightly realized that his video needed to be clearer, more accessible, and smoother. So he went back and redid it.

I admire his tenacity and the mid-campaign change. And I think it’s a lesson to all of us to periodically take a look, and see what needs to be changed about our proposals and videos to give them broader appeal.

Speaking of, time to go make some slight revisions…

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  1. Umm. Did you mean “awesome herps”? I didn’t hear anything about herpes in the video . . .