navy science

What Humans Can Learn From the Sea Cucumber's Toxic Arsenal

What Humans Can Learn From the Sea Cucumber’s Toxic Arsenal

But this chemical defense creates a big problem for sea cucumbers: They need to avoid killing themselves with their own toxins. And that means their own cells can’t contain cholesterol, the target that the saponins bind to and pierce. Instead, they have evolved two kinds of cholesterol alternatives: lathosterol and 9(11) sterols, which probably fulfill …

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The Queen Conch's Gambit

The Queen Conch’s Gambit

Archaeologists don’t know exactly how many Taíno survived the enslavement, massacres, and diseases that marked the following centuries—though genetic sampling reveals significant Indigenous ancestry in contemporary Puerto Rico. But Taíno stories and artifacts stress the importance of conchs: in their fishing and diving traditions; in the infinite piles of conch they harvested, ate, and honed …

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