Late Lunch Talk: Evolution and applications of animal venoms
Late Lunch Talk by Eivind Andreas Baste Undheim
The zoom link will be shared through the CEES seminar mailing list.
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Animal venoms are cocktails of bioactive polypeptides (“toxins”), that potently and often selectively target important physiological processes in their victims. They have therefore attracted significant attention as sources of novel compounds with potential as therapeutics, agrochemicals, and molecular tools. However, venoms are also emerging models for studying evolution of novelty and functional innovation. There are over 100 independently evolved venomous animal lineages, each of which has evolved its own biochemical arsenal of toxins through the modification of existing “housekeeping” proteins and peptides. The evolution of these arsenals also include the emergence of associated venom producing tissues, venom delivering structures, and specialised behaviours. Together, these traits form venom systems, which are integrated systems that can be functionally defined and measured at levels ranging from molecule to morphology, and as such provide exciting opportunities for studying how traits affect each other’s evolution across different levels of biological complexity
In this talk I will provide a brief overview of some of our recent work on the evolution of animal venoms and their application as molecular tools and analytical models. I will also give an introduction to some of the ongoing and planned venom research to be done at IBV.