Secrets To Life

By Karey Burek

Shakespeare once said that Earth is "nature’s infinite book of secrecy."  What I think he was referring to was the life saving capabilities of creatures on our planet.  For instance, horseshoe crabs, a species that has remained unchanged for millions of years, used to be ground up and used for fertilizer.  However, in recent decades, scientists discovered that their blood could be used to detect contaminants in drugs and medical equipment.  

It is just now becoming apparent to man, that there are infinite possibilities and knowledge to be gained from all species of life on earth.  But is it too late?  Are we pushing most of the species to extinction?  In 1986, scientist Michael Zosloff questioned why African clawed frogs are immune to disease.  He discovered that this frog species secretes a never before seen antibody that protects them from disease.  It kills every known form of bacteria, which is the root cause of human illness.

Michael Zasloff, in 1992, discovered that the dogfish shark was also a unique healing species.  He discovered a previously unknown molecule in the shark’s liver that has the capability to fight cancer.  What this molecule does is cut off blood flow to the cancerous tumors.

What is the moral of this article?  I don’t know if there really is a moral, but there could be an important lesson to be learned.  With all of the development happening around the world today, it is possible that through our rapid growth we are destroying the biodiversity of our world.  Of course destruction of biodiversity is inevitable, but we should stop and think about what species of insect, amphibian or fish we are destroying and what possible cures for human ailments we are destroying along with them.  It is amazing to think of all the cures that may be out there just waiting for us to discover!  Hats off to the scientists around the world.

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