The picture included here is not captured from the web. I really took this photograph at my lunch one day when we visited China last year for GEO2 work. To our surprise (and horror), we were served fried scorpions as a local delicacy. Luckily for R and I, J took one for the team and dived in to try one of them. R and I got away smiling and shaking our head while he muched away at the Scorpion tail :). Chinese lunch and dinner engagements are considered absolutely necessary for developing confidence with Chinese partners, and are generally considered the Chinese equivalent of a hand-shake agreement. So the next time you are given the opportunity to do business development in China, you should boldly look forward to gourmet meals like this….and a drink called Mau Tai which I am told tastes like Kerosene.
A related news item that I wanted to highlight is the following: Scorpions are not just food…venom of the Giant Yellow Isreali scorpion is now being used to treat brain tumors…
Source: Earth Times
Now scorpion venom to treat brain tumors
Author : Ryan Jones
New age therapy for brain tumors may now include an ingredient in the venom of the Giant Yellow Isreali scorpion. This substance holds promise to attach itself to cancerous cells, slowing the growth of the tumor. The study which compiled these results involved 18 patients who first had surgical removal of malignant gliomas – the deadliest form of brain tumor. However, certain gliomas are always left behind after a tumor in the brain is surgically removed and they are known to resist treatment.Researchers then inserted a synthetic form of the scorpion venom protein called TM-601 on the 18 patients in the first phase, and found that it could deliver radio-active iodine through the blood barrier to gliomas. In order to maintain safety, researchers used low doses of TM-601 and the radiation levels were also kept below therapeutic standards.Results showed that in spite of these measures, two of the patients reached total radiologic responses and MRI scans showed that no tumors existed. Although average survival for the patients was 27 weeks, these patients were alive even three years after the treatment.Another positive finding was the whatever the level of dosage, no side effects were noticed. Also, the effects of radioactivity seemed to recede after 24 hours. The little activity was noticed after this seemed to cluster around the tumor bed, suggesting that the TM-601 was selectively attaching itself to the glioma cells.Dr. Adam Mamelak of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute in Los Angeles who led the study, pointed out that though this was in no way miraculous, it is a breakthrough and provides hope for illnesses which earlier had no cure. He further added that after more research is carried out, this technique might also be used in combination with other treatments like chemotherapy. This study is due for publication in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.