Pakistan's scorpion hunters


“I spend all my spare time connecting scorpion buyers with sellers,” Faraz, who also works at Karachi Port Trust, told Al Jazeera. “When a big deal goes through, it will be like winning the lottery.”

I smell a sucker.

The sellers, however, seem unperturbed by the idea of a ban and some even welcome it. They believe that a ban will enhance the rates further. “The ban will make this trade more interesting,” said W, smiling again at the prospect of being able to earn more.

Review paper from 2011 on arthropod venom:
Arthropod venoms and cancer

Scorpion toxins are a promising approach to fight cancer, since they have shown both in vitro and in vivo effects on cancer cells, as well as in phase I and phase II clinical trials.

I am sorry to say that for 50 Gs I would be hunting scorpions as well…


IIRC in Wired they had an article about “tumor paint”. It was an enzyme from scorpion venom that would attach to brain cancer cells and then under certain light it would glow bright green. A boon for surgeons, as I guess when removing brain tumors it is very hard to tell what is and is not cancerous, and often times a small cell cluster is missed.

I am hoping one day they might use that for Neurofibromitosis.

50 grand for a single scorpion? Are these scorpions really hard to breed, or something?

(Also, the link in the post to the story itself seems to be broken - maybe that’s addressed in the article)

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I would understand if this was ultimately traced back to the same quack medicine that doomed the tiger and the rhino and countless other species, but legitimate medical research? Surely the people conducting that sort of thing are bound by legislation?


Scorpions don’t hibernate. Only endotherms hibernate, almost always mammals. Scorpians brumate.


Learned a new word today. Thanks!

Also brumate - Cheers mate, milk and two, ta.


What’s weird about the article is, it doesn’t ever definitively say who the end customers are nor what they are using them for.

This looks like a different genus or something, but it says it’s easy to see them overeat or fail molt (from being too dry!) in captivity. That and lab/breeder rules plus the import compliance makes it cheaper to pay natives with more rolypolies than cattle. Look forward to the scorpion movies, diet, cell signalling at home kit, apps, self-refilling drink containers (that scavenge arthropods, and molt,) pincerball/stingerball, RasPi peripherals, automatic seatbelts, bulk food bins that keep single-food tears fresh by juddering a warning on scoop number 3… (pretty short)
Mister44’s memory is good: outlines how to find all the tumor in biopsy/extraction, maybe replace a bunch of chemo. So theme restaurant and fitness event too. Ha. Burning Man rescue arachnids. still. processing. all. the. love.

Let’s farm them in Kent.
And other hillsides. Cancer-free eagles in the corn!
Ah, you know you’re not searching at uni when Science News links are the top offers.

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