Health Care Sharing Ministries ARE NOT Health Insurance! | Full Frontal on TBS

Health Care Sharing Ministries ARE NOT Health Insurance! | Full Frontal on TBS


It’s no secret
that America’s health insurance system is broken. If you think about
it too hard, you’ll give yourself a panic attack
that feels like a heart attack, lined up in the ER with a bill
that gives you a real heart attack, get a bigger bill,
decide to fake your death, escape out the window,
accidentally fall into the hospital brambles,
and get a whole other bill to pay for new brambles. Even with insurance, medicine
things sure are expensive. There’s got to be another way! It’s a little known
loophole in the law that authorized Obamacare. No health insurance
but you don’t want to pay the IRS penalty for
not buying health insurance? No problem– if
you’re a Christian, and you join a health
care sharing ministry. Every month, people put money
into a communal medical fund instead of towards
traditional insurance. We’re about 80,000
believers in Christ spread across the
country that simply share in each other’s
medical bills every month. OK, but what do you do if one
month god blows all the money on a wicked new jet ski? Why walk on water, when
you can shred on it? In a health care
sharing ministry, members pay a set
amount every month– usually far less than regular
insurance, with the expectation that the ministry will
cover their medical bills when they need it. But the problem
is they’re totally unregulated, and under no
legal obligation to pay. It’s really up to the
whims of the person reviewing your claims. And you don’t know
if you’re going to get a good Christian,
a bad Christian, or a Sister Christian. Worthless if you’re sick,
but sick as hell at karaoke. Unfortunately, members are
finding out the hard way their care isn’t covered. KIRO 7 has since talked with
a half dozen people, who all thought they were signing up for
health insurance with Aliera, only to have their
claims denied. Denied, denied, denied. 10-year-old Lola Gray
Seegers is healthy, just four months after brain surgery. Doctors removed a
softball-sized brain tumor. But last week came the
bill from their health plan, Aliera companies. $325,624. We had a life
threatening emergency. The Seegers say
Aliera even rejected Lola Gray’s emergency
room bill, saying headaches aren’t an emergency. Oh, [BLEEP] off. Calling a brain
tumor a headache? I’m glad you believe
in hell, because you are definitely going there. [APPLAUSE] Members of health
sharing ministries often have to sign a
Christian lifestyle agreement. For example, Altrua
members must agree to not smoke, do drugs,
get drunk, or have sex outside of marriage. Basically, you need to have
a pre-existing condition called being a nerd. Though for an extra premium,
they do offer an option that allows butt stuff. Since the Affordable
Care Act passed, Christian health
sharing ministries have blown up, enrolling an
estimated million plus people. But many of them
don’t realize it’s not actual insurance,
because it’s often marketed like insurance. They even mimic real plan tiers,
like gold, silver, and bronze, with names like
diamond, emerald, and sapphire–
though they really should be called dog shit. It’s so confusing. Even health care
ministry employees aren’t clear on what they’re selling. Through a public
disclosure request, we got a hold of this training
video, where even the speaker calls their service health
insurance before quickly correcting himself. We’re finally
applying health insu– health care in a market– That was their video! If someone in a Burger
King training film dropped all the Whoppers, Burger
King would not leave that in! We already know we’re
eating floor Whoppers. We don’t need them to say it. Some ministries prey
on members’ generosity by sharing personal stories
from the people who will receive their contribution. Who wouldn’t rather send their
payment to a real person? Real insurance companies
should do that. If Geico sent a bill that
said my payment would pay for that gecko to
get braces, it would be a pleasure to pay
that bill and fix his jacked little teeth. But it’s not entirely clear how
members’ money is being used. In one case, regulators found
that only 20% of contributions went toward members’
medical bills. Not only did some
ministries pay commissions to third party brokers, they
also make some banger ads. I’m getting jerked
around up here, trying to sign up for health care. Have you looked at the
Liberty Health Share? They have programs
starting at $199. No, I haven’t. Didn’t think so. Hope you’re all right. No, Chad, he’s dead. The man is dead, and
you’re just standing there. Ministry members get none
of the protections mandated by the Affordable
Care Act, including coverage for mental
health, birth control, or pre-existing conditions. And their concept of
pre-existing conditions is pretty extreme. When one couple adopted
their first child, they were shocked to discover
that Samaritan, the sharing ministry they paid
into for years, would not cover any
condition an adopted child has prior to being adopted– making adoption a
pre-existing condition. Yeah, I think it’s
time we started blaming the kids for taking
so long to be adopted. Drop those maps, kids. Go find a home. All health care ministries
are risky for their members. But one– Aliera– seems to be an actual scam. A lawsuit filed last month
by the Texas AG on behalf of the Texas
Department of Insurance claims Aliera did not
qualify as a health care sharing ministry in the state. The lawsuit alleges the company
is operating as an insurance company without the right to. What we saw and what
we’re aware of at this time, it’s clearly a scam. Let me repeat that– Aliera didn’t even qualify as
a health care sharing ministry. Even when they were full of
shit, they were full of shit about the shit
they were full of. It’s full of shit inception. We spoke with Sheri Lewis,
a dance teacher in Seattle who signed up for Aliera after
her previous insurance dropped her. When I had signed on, I’d
already had one hip replacement two years before
from a car accident, and I was having
problems with my hip. I was having a lot of pain. So I went to the surgeon. They said you
absolutely need surgery. And we scheduled it. And then they came back
and said we won’t cover it because it’s pre-existing. The cost to have it out of
pocket in the United States was going to be like
$80,000 out of pocket. The only reason someone should
spend $80,000 on hip surgery is if they’re getting a surgical
transplant of Shakira’s hips. Not plastic surgery,
her actual hips. While some states have
taken action against Aliera for particularly
deceptive practices, they can’t regulate other
ministries because they’re not real health insurance. It’s both a catch-22, and
also the worst catfish since that time I thought I
was in an online relationship with Mark Paul Geissler,
but it turned out I was chatting with
Dustin Diamond, and it was after he
stabbed that guy. The philosophy behind
health sharing ministries is a nice one. We should all want
to share resources and help carry each
other’s burdens. It’s certainly the
Christian thing to do. And also, for the record, the
democratic socialist thing to do. If Jesus were around
today, he’d probably be a hot boy for Bernie. [CHEERING] Health care ministries take
advantage of the people who are desperate for help. They’re a scammy offshoot
of a larger problem. Everyone deserves
access to health care, regardless of income. It’s what this hot
boy would have wanted.

40 percent of world’s countries restricting entry of people traveling from S. Korea

40 percent of world’s countries restricting entry of people traveling from S. Korea


now more and more countries are
restricting entry from South Korea due to fears over the coronavirus Seoul’s
foreign ministry is working to reduce the inconvenience caused to Koreans
traveling overseas our home yield reports at least 80 countries or regions
within countries are restricting the entry of people coming from South Korea
that is more than 40% of UN member states who have restricted entry either
through stronger quarantine measures or outright entry bans 36 countries have
imposed an entry ban with turkey joining the group on Sunday in Vietnam one of
South Korea’s major new southern policy partner states has stopped visa-free
entry for Koreans and imposed a total entry ban for South Koreans that have
departed from or transferred in tegu or gyeongsang-do province Koreans with
visas who are coming from a different region have to self quarantine for two
weeks this decision comes right after Seoul’s foreign minister kang dongwon
and her Vietnamese counterpart discussed the issue over the phone Seoul’s foreign
ministry has also lodged a complaint over Viet Nam’s unannounced ban on
Korean flights landing in that country an Asiana Airlines flight was turned
back while enroute to Hanoi on Saturday after authorities there refused to let
the plane land the ministry summoned the vietnamese ambassador to Seoul to
complain about the inconvenience cost and 44 other countries along with some
parts of China have strengthened their entrance screening procedures kazahstan
in Nigeria are the latest to up their screenings Nigeria is conducting a self
quarantine for foreigners coming in from South Korea China Italy Iran and Japan
in response to a growing number of countries restricting the enter of
people travelling from South Korea the foreign ministry is reassuring countries
by informing them transparently about the government measures to combat kovat
19 for instance foreign minister Kang Yong Hwa’s spoke with her counterpart
from Canada on Monday to assure Canada that South Korea is doing its utmost to
contain the spread Canada has so far not imposed restrictions and travelers from
South Korea who knew Eddie renews

How to Milk a Cockroach


[ intro ] You, me, dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs … we’re all mammals. All part of one big, happy, milk-producing family. Other animals generally don’t share the
ability to feed their young with a substance secreted
from their own bodies… With a few exceptions. Like the Pacific beetle cockroach. Yes, I said “cockroach.” Now, let me start by clarifying that I’m
talking about a milk-producing insect, not a milk substitute made from insects, which does exist but is a whole other, unrelated
thing. And I should also note that this stuff is
not exactly milk— at least not by the standards of the dairy
industry— since the roaches don’t have mammary glands. Plus, their babies don’t nurse after birth the way mammalian babies do. so you can’t just like, squeeze them to collect a tube full of milk. But these insects do produce a special food for their young. And that’s how they’re able to avoid doing
something that most other insects do: laying eggs. Eggs can’t exactly run from all the predators that might make a fine meal of them. So young insects that can move about the moment
they leave their mother have a bit of a leg up in life— or, six of them, to be exact. And the Pacific beetle cockroach is the only known viviparous cockroach, which means that females give birth to live
babies. They actually have a uterus of sorts called
a brood sac. And it’s while a female is incubating her
babies in this sac that she produces a milk-like substance for
her embryos to ingest. This quote “milk” is a complete source
of nutrition for the young cockroaches. It’s almost 46% protein, including all of the essential amino acids,
and about 25% carbs. And it’s a whopping 16 to 22% fat, which
includes omega-3s and other “healthy” fats. Plus it’s got vitamins and minerals. So basically, it’s got a lot of everything, which is why it has three times as many calories
per gram as buffalo milk, and some researchers say it’s among the
world’s most nutritious substances. And that gives the soon-to-be cockroach babies
an evolutionary advantage. During gestation, Pacific beetle cockroach babies undergo a
50-fold increase in dry mass from the time they arrive in the brood sac
as fertilized eggs to the moment they leave their mother’s
body. That’s so big that, at birth, the brood
— typically numbering around 12 nymphs — can be one and a half times the weight of
their mother. And this whole process from embryo to nymph
happens three times faster than in other cockroach
species! They keep growing fast, too. Males will reach adulthood after just three
to four molts. By contrast, German cockroaches molt six times before reaching adulthood. And since the bugs are very vulnerable during
and just after the molting process, fewer molts means they spend less of their
lives in this exposed state. In fact, this milk is considered so nutritious
that… well, you may have already guessed where we’re
headed. Yes, some have tossed around the idea of mass producing cockroach milk
for human consumption. But alas, scientists and health-food moguls have yet to come up with a practical way to
harvest this stuff. The roaches are pretty small, and since the fluid is excreted into the brood
sac not out into the world, you can’t exactly attach them to a milking
machine. To get the milk from the mama bugs, researchers inserted filter paper into their
brood sacs. That soaks up the goods, which the scientists
can then extract from the paper. They can also cut open the young roaches to
get at the stuff. see, the liquid turns into crystals in the
embryos’ digestive tracts. And those crystals can then be cut from their
stomachs— a process the roaches don’t survive. Either way, each roach only gives a tiny amount. Experts estimate it’d take upwards of 1000
cockroaches to get 100 grams of milk. That means you’d have to milk— and probably kill— countless cockroaches to produce an actual
bottle of this stuff, let alone enough bottles to sell to the masses. Also, we don’t actually know it’s safe
to consume in any quantity. So, you won’t see it on store shelves any
time soon. Researchers may one day be able to synthesize
cockroach milk, though. Still, even if that happens, the milk is more likely to have medical applications than it is to end up as a substitute coffee
creamer. Which is fine, because we can always drink that milk that’s
made from insects instead… Bottom’s up! Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow! If you enjoyed it, I have a feeling you’ll
really like our podcast, SciShow Tangents. It’s a collaboration between Complexly and
WNYC studios, and it’s hosted by several of the awesome
people who work on SciShow. Basically, they try to one-up each other with awesome science knowledge about a given
topic. Like, there’s an entire episode about how
wonderful mucus is. And snot gross at all… Anyhow, we here at SciShow have a lot of fun
making it, and we hope you’ll have just as much fun
listening. So if you want to check it out, you can find
it on all the major podcast platforms! [ outro ]

How to get rid of spider veins naturally in 3 minutes a day!

How to get rid of spider veins naturally in 3 minutes a day!


– Hey, Natural Method YouTube. Do your friends think you
are becoming Spider-man? The Harry Potter’s scar
spread to your legs? If you have spider veins you are not alone Our friend SRC has asked for
the Natural Method for this, imagine how much more
confident you will feel once they vanish. Lets get started, both hand pat over your legs, up and down, one, two, three, four– – [Own Voiceover] For the fastest results, pat the calf muscles as strong as you can. – Three, four, five, with
your fingers (taps himself) one, two, three, four. – [OWN Voiceover] You will
feel the tension as you tap, this is normal. – Three, four, five. With the hands (slaps himself) One, two , three, four, five. One, two, three, four, five. Massage top of the leg (sliding sound) At work, one, two, three, four, five, In a minute one– – [Own Voiceover] You will
feel the tension in your calf, this is normal. – One, two, three, four, five. With your fist (sliding sound)
one, two, three, four, five. One, two, three, four, five. One, two, three, four, five. The all hand, extend your
feet out and massage upwards. One,(sliding sound) two, three, four– – [Own Voiceover]
Massage your calf firmly. – (sliding sound) One,
two, three, four, five. Both hands (slaps himself) and palm it. One, on to the time two, three, four– – [Own Voiceover] Please follow my pace. – (slaps himself) One,
two, three, four, five. Both hand on your knee
and extend your feet out. One, two, three, four– – [Own Voiceover] Make sure
you stretch to tension point. – Two, three, four, five. Bring your feet up and just shake it, one, two, three, four, five one, two, three, four, five. Hold it for five second, one, two, three, four, five and relax. Massage one more time
upwards,(sliding sound) one, two, three, four– – [Own Voiceover]
Massage your calf firmly. – Two, (sliding sound)
three, four, five and relax

I Got Stung 50 Times By Bees & I’m Allergic – Story


Bees. Flying insects. Members of complex social colonies centered
around a queen. Extremely important to pollination. There are over 16,000 known species of bees. One of the species, the western or European
honey bee, makes honey and beeswax. Unfortunately honey bees are my personal life
long nemesis. I’m part of the just over 3% of American
adults who are allergic to bees. Recently, I got stung and this is what happened. Actually this is the second time in my life
I’ve been stung. When I was young, I messed with a beehive
and got stung by several bees–yeah, I was kind of a dumb kid. Researchers have determined that many people
experience cumulative bee sting sensitivity. Meaning that for many people the more times
they are stung, the stronger their body’s reaction. Death via bee sting is possible, mostly on
a second or later occurrence of being stung, but fairly rare. In the US between 2000-2017, the largest number
of fatalities from hornet, wasp, and bee stings occurred in 2017 with a high of 89 deaths. So even if you originally weren’t allergic
to bee stings, you can become allergic to bee venom. That’s right, venom. When a bee stings you, it’s actually injecting
you with a toxin. Honey bee venom is made up of toxic proteins
and peptides, the major component being a protein called melittin. It also contains 50 other identified compounds
including hyaluronidase, acid phosphatase and histamine. A number of these components have significant
toxic effects on many different animals. The complex nature of venom may be due to
the wide variety of predators which might attack a bee colony. Different components of the venom seem to
be vital in repelling different species of attackers. Honey bee venom is cytotoxic and hemotoxic
meaning that it destroys cells, red blood cells in particular; large doses of venom
can disrupt blood clotting. Whether you’re allergic to bee venom or
not, when stung, chances are you’ll feel a temporary burning pain during the sting. Most people develop a local reaction, usually
swelling, soreness and redness around the sting site that will slowly dissipate within
a few hours to the next several days. Even if you’re not allergic, being stung
multiple times in a short time period can cause nausea, dizziness and even seizures
due to the quantity of venom injected. Being stung on a more sensitive part of the
body, such as the face, or neck can produce a heightened immune response rather than getting
stung on the arms and legs. While bees, yellow jackets, bumblebees and
hornets all sting, their venom is not the same. Bee stings tend to be acidic, whereas wasp
stings are alkaline, so your body’s reaction to a bee sting may be very different from
that of a wasp sting. It’s possible to be severely allergic to
the venom from a bee or even a particular species of bee and only be mildly allergic
or have just a normal local reaction to a sting from another species of bee or wasp. Adult honeybees come in 3 varieties: a queen,
drone and a worker. All worker bees are female, though they lack
reproductive capabilities. They gather pollen, feed larvae, and maintain
and defend the hive, while queens are responsible for producing new bees. The job of drones or male bees is to mate
with the queen. Only females bees are capable of stinging,
though queen bees never sting in defense of the colony. Instead, young queens will sting and fight
to the death against rival queens to ascend to rule the colony. Technically, honey bees are capable of stinging
multiple times like other winged stinging insects such as hornets. However, the honey bee’s stinger is barbed. When the victim’s skin is thick, such as
a mammal’s, the barbed stinger wedges in the victim’s skin while attached to the venom
sac which tears loose from the bee’s abdomen and leads to its death in minutes. Honey bee stings release pheromones that attract
other nearby bees to come and attack to protect the hive. The pheromones actually smell similar to bananas. For safety, researchers have suggested that
beekeepers not eat the fruit before working because the beekeepers’ banana scented breath
can rile up bees. Today I walked outside, checked the mail and
bam! some random bee let me have it in the arm. Upon penetration of the stinger in my skin,
the bee’s smooth muscle surrounding the venom sac automatically contracted, thus further
embedding the stinger. Simultaneously the bee squeezed the venom
sac injecting its contents deeper into my arm tissue due to the burrowing of the stinger. 90% of a bee’s venom is injected into the
victim during the first 20 seconds after the stinger makes contact with the victim’s
skin. Immediately, the sting site on my arm turned
red and began to swell. I removed the stinger by pinching it out with
my finger tips. I quickly began to experience immunologic
anaphylaxis or to have an acute, multiorgan system reaction caused by the release of chemical
mediators from my white blood cells to something my body determined to be an allergen agent. Externally, I began to sweat, my pulse weakened
and I got dizzy. My mouth began to itch and my chest grew tight. My throat passage swelled, becoming narrow
and making me wheeze. Internally, the bee venom interacted with
my B cells which are responsible for creating the antibodies of my immune system. Antibodies that are created in response to
an allergen, are known as immunoglobulin E or IgE. To counter the allergen, the IgE attaches
itself to mast cells. Mast cells then release immune molecules known
as cytokines. Cytokines are primarily used for cellular
communication. The cytokines communicate with other white
blood cells, recruiting them to come help combat the allergen. Those white blood cells repeat the activation
and recruitment of more white blood cells. The cycle repeats over and over. Meanwhile the activation of the mast and immune
cells has caused the release of histamine which widens my blood vessels. When blood vessels are wider, the white blood
cells can move quickly to the site of the allergy invasion. Throughout my entire body, blood vessels widen
causing a drop in blood pressure. As a result, my circulatory system began to
have trouble distributing oxygen. Also histamine causes my blood vessels to
leak, which leads to swelling throughout my body. Especially dangerous, the release of histamine
also causes bronchospasms or the main passages to my lungs to randomly, involuntary contract,
making it difficult to breathe. At the same time, the swelling in my throat
narrowed my air passages, making for a life threatening combination. So basically, the white blood cells in my
body sensed an intruder. They overreacted and call their homeboys to
defend against the invader, their homeboys called even more homeboys, on and on, thereby
accidentally disrupting my other vital body functions during the process. I immediately injected myself in the outer
thigh with a shot of epinephrine or adrenaline which constricts blood vessels, counteracting
the actions of the histamine. Epinephrine also causes bronchodilation, or
opens up the airways, making it easier to breath. The outer thigh is the best site for injection
because it’s one of the body’s biggest muscles with a large blood supply. Administration of an adrenaline shot into
the muscle provides a faster dissipation and absorption of the medication. Especially the outer thigh is optimal, because
the skin tends to be thinner there and there’s less fat on the muscle. Along with the shot, I also took an oral dosage
of diphenhydramine which is an antihistamine that neutralizes and reduces the effects of
histamine in the body. Each allergic person experiences anaphylaxis
differently, the symptoms are wide ranging from vomiting, to hives, to confusion. Anaphylaxis most commonly affects the skin,
respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems. The severity of the response can be affected
by the quantity and concentration of the injected bee venom. Although anyone can have an allergy, people
with asthma and eczema tend to be at an increased risk for anaphylaxis. A friend drove me to an emergency room where
I was given an IV to help restore my circulatory system. I was also monitored for the next several
hours in cause of a protracted, recurring or biphasic anaphylactic reaction. Two days later I was completely back to normal,
minus a sore chest from wheezing and some swelling at the sting site. It’s amazing how a small incident such as
bee sting can set off a life threatening situation. My doctor suggested that I do venom immunotherapy
in case of future stings. Venom immunotherapy or allergy shots usually
contain purified venom. The first few shots contain very small amounts
of venom. The amount is gradually increased until the
patient can tolerate the amount of venom in two or more stings without having the symptoms
of an allergic reaction. However, venom immunotherapy doesn’t work
for everyone. Considering all the trauma I went through,
I can’t be mad at bees. Bees are vital for a healthy environment,
produce delicious honey and help grow our crops. Do you have an allergy? What are you allergic to? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
Most Painful Insect Bite A Human Can Experience – Bullet Ants! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

Crazy Ants Invade – Texas Parks & Wildlife [Official]

Crazy Ants Invade – Texas Parks & Wildlife [Official]


– ED LEBRUN: Sweeping up
dead ants every day. Millions of ants inside
their house. Ants getting into the
electrical equipment and then the electric circuit
shorts out– Just much, much worse.– NARRATOR: The script
is familiar.
An exotic ant invades,wreaking havoc.But these are not fire ants,and this is not a horror film.– FILM NARRATOR: There is
no word to describe THEM! [scream]– NARRATOR: Yet like the
movies, native species
battle for survival.There is public alarm.– FILM NARRATOR:
Stay in your homes!– NARRATOR: And scientists
race to combat the menace.
This is one crazy ant.– FILM NARRATOR: I tell you
gentlemen, science has agreed–– NARRATOR: The tawny
crazy ant,
native to South America,was first documented near
Houston and in Florida
in the early 2000s.Since then, it has invaded
around the Gulf Coast.
– They are found in a
variety of habitats– urban, suburban and also in
natural environments. In Texas, we know that when you
get an invasion of crazy ants, you lose lots and lots
of insects, and you also lose all the ants
except for a few small species.– NARRATOR: Researchers, like
Ed LeBrun, are concerned by
the impacts of crazy ants
on natural systems,
even in the suburbs.– ED: Yeah, they are
very active today. They cause a lot of damage
to the native ecosystems by greatly reducing
abundance and diversity of other insects in the system.– NARRATOR: And some natural
places are especially fragile.
– ED: This many ants in any
environment will have negative consequences,
typically, but there’s a lot of endangered
species in these caves, right Todd? – Yeah.– NARRATOR: At the entrance
of a protected cave on the
outskirts of Austin,LeBrun and Natural Resource
Specialist, Todd Bayless,
know swarms of crazy ants on
the surface are bad news
for rare cave bugs below.– We got a call from Texas
Cave Management Association to tell us that there was a
major infestation of ants that they’d never seen
before in their cave, and sure enough, found this
tawny crazy ant in huge numbers inside the cave itself. That was a concern to us because
this is one of the caves we hope to protect for some
species of concern. We knew that they had the
potential of being found in other endangered species
caves nearby. [cave crawling] – Onward and inward! My name is Travis Clark, I’m a
Natural Resources Specialist for Travis County at the
Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. The BCP was created to
provide protections for eight endangered species, six of those are karst
invertebrates. We’re at a cave in South
Austin that’s been impacted by tawny crazy ants. And the reason we’re entering
today is to do one of our quarterly karst faunal
surveys to assess impacts by tawny crazy ants. There he is right there. – MARK SANDERS: This is one of
the species of concern that we’re trying to protect. The species name is
Rhadine Austinica. – TRAVIS: The species are
essentially canaries in a coal mine, and so they’re going
to be indicative of cave health. These cave systems are
important because they’re recharge features. People benefit through drinking
water, through recreation where this comes out in springs. – MARK: Cicurina Bandida. – And that was two? – One. That’s it. – TRAVIS: So essentially what
we’re charged with is providing all the safeguards we
can for these caves. – TODD: The underground
ecosystem is very unique, not just in North America
but all over the world. Knowing we had a problem,
we looked for experts in the ant community that could
possibly help us out and we found Ed LeBrun over at
UT’s Brackenridge Field Lab. – ED: This is the invasive
species research group at the University of Texas at Austin. And we are working on a lot of
invasive species problems in the state of Texas. Most people in Texas,
when you’re talking about invasive ants are thinking
about red imported fire ants. They actually do less harm to
the native Texas ecosystems than these crazy ants do.– NARRATOR: Crazy ants,
so named for their
erratic movements, eat or
outcompete most of the spiders
and insects around them,including the
formidable fire ant.
– Fire ants are very tough. They have this extremely
toxic venom. She actually goes up and
literally takes the venom droplet off the end
of the fire ant stinger. And crazy ants, they go, they
fight, they get hit with fire ant venom, they just
keep fighting, they keep charging in and they
should all be dying. And so then here’s the crazy
ant detoxing from the venom. People when you tell them
they displace fire ants, it’s like, “Yea!” But the net effect
if very negative. Insects are the base of the
terrestrial food web, so if you knock out the
base of the food web, those impacts then
spread throughout the rest of the system, like birds and reptiles that feed directly
on the insects, which plants proliferate
and which plants don’t, so you can really change
the whole system by altering the
arthropod community. Here’s a trap.– NARRATOR: Such threats have
biologists searching for ways
to control crazy ants.Texas Parks and Wildlife
contributed funding to an
early investigation of
boric acid bait stations
in the field.– Unfortunately, it’s
not very promising. – We discovered that, although
the crazy ants loved the bait, brought the poison
back to their nests, that it just didn’t reduce
the densities of the ants that we were hoping for.– NARRATOR: In the lab,
there is now hope for a
natural enemy that some
crazy ants already carry.
– ED: These are uninfected ants,
so these were our control ants in that experiment. The microsporidian that
we’re working on is showing quite a bit of promise.– NARRATOR: A fungal parasite
specific to these ants
could help keep them in check.– The development of larvae to
workers is greatly reduced by infection, and the life span
of workers is reduced by about a quarter. There are these phydolese,
solonopsis, dipoloptrims, they are very tiny. And most of your ant diversity
is down at this kind of size. Tawny crazy ants are just a
very small component of the overall ant assemblage
down in Argentina.– NARRATOR: The world
of ants…
– ED: Leaf-cutting ants…
– NARRATOR: …is complex.
– ED: …we have here in Texas
as well, we haveAtta texana.– NARRATOR: So further studies
of ant interactions,
where crazy ants are native,
and where they are not,
may provide more ways to
minimize their impacts.
– FILM NARRATOR: The
subterranean nest, where the beast spawns its
terrible progeny.– NARRATOR: Meanwhile, we
should remember that the
very best solution to
invasive species problems
is to avoid creating them
in the first place.
– ED: Crazy ant queens
don’t fly. What that means is they don’t
have a way to infest new areas except for people moving them. And that’s unfortunately what’s
happening all over the state. So, people move them when they
take a potted plant somewhere that has ants in it. When you go to a garden store
to buy something, it’s important to look for ants. I mean you don’t have to
be an ant biologist, just look for ants and if
they’re covered in ants, don’t buy it. Recreational vehicles are
a problem as well. Being sure that there aren’t
any ants in your vehicle when you go to visit
a new place. [door slam] [intriguing music] Species invasion, it’s a natural process, right? Species have been moving
around the planet since there’s been a planet. The problem is, humans with our
commerce and everything we do, elevated the rate at which
these invasions happen by many orders of magnitude. And so the natural system
doesn’t have time to adjust before the next invader comes. The natural systems
are very resilient. If you can give them
time to adjust, they will. We should be paying attention, and we should be
investing resources in offsetting the impact. That’s why I work here. That’s what we’re about is
trying to change the dynamic so that we can preserve the
natural systems that we all grew up with. [intriguing music]

Crazy Ants Invade – Texas Parks & Wildlife [Official]


– ED LEBRUN: Sweeping up
dead ants every day. Millions of ants inside
their house. Ants getting into the
electrical equipment and then the electric circuit
shorts out– Just much, much worse.– NARRATOR: The script
is familiar.
An exotic ant invades,wreaking havoc.But these are not fire ants,and this is not a horror film.– FILM NARRATOR: There is
no word to describe THEM! [scream]– NARRATOR: Yet like the
movies, native species
battle for survival.There is public alarm.– FILM NARRATOR:
Stay in your homes!– NARRATOR: And scientists
race to combat the menace.
This is one crazy ant.– FILM NARRATOR: I tell you
gentlemen, science has agreed–– NARRATOR: The tawny
crazy ant,
native to South America,was first documented near
Houston and in Florida
in the early 2000s.Since then, it has invaded
around the Gulf Coast.
– They are found in a
variety of habitats– urban, suburban and also in
natural environments. In Texas, we know that when you
get an invasion of crazy ants, you lose lots and lots
of insects, and you also lose all the ants
except for a few small species.– NARRATOR: Researchers, like
Ed LeBrun, are concerned by
the impacts of crazy ants
on natural systems,
even in the suburbs.– ED: Yeah, they are
very active today. They cause a lot of damage
to the native ecosystems by greatly reducing
abundance and diversity of other insects in the system.– NARRATOR: And some natural
places are especially fragile.
– ED: This many ants in any
environment will have negative consequences,
typically, but there’s a lot of endangered
species in these caves, right Todd? – Yeah.– NARRATOR: At the entrance
of a protected cave on the
outskirts of Austin,LeBrun and Natural Resource
Specialist, Todd Bayless,
know swarms of crazy ants on
the surface are bad news
for rare cave bugs below.– We got a call from Texas
Cave Management Association to tell us that there was a
major infestation of ants that they’d never seen
before in their cave, and sure enough, found this
tawny crazy ant in huge numbers inside the cave itself. That was a concern to us because
this is one of the caves we hope to protect for some
species of concern. We knew that they had the
potential of being found in other endangered species
caves nearby. [cave crawling] – Onward and inward! My name is Travis Clark, I’m a
Natural Resources Specialist for Travis County at the
Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. The BCP was created to
provide protections for eight endangered species, six of those are karst
invertebrates. We’re at a cave in South
Austin that’s been impacted by tawny crazy ants. And the reason we’re entering
today is to do one of our quarterly karst faunal
surveys to assess impacts by tawny crazy ants. There he is right there. – MARK SANDERS: This is one of
the species of concern that we’re trying to protect. The species name is
Rhadine Austinica. – TRAVIS: The species are
essentially canaries in a coal mine, and so they’re going
to be indicative of cave health. These cave systems are
important because they’re recharge features. People benefit through drinking
water, through recreation where this comes out in springs. – MARK: Cicurina Bandida. – And that was two? – One. That’s it. – TRAVIS: So essentially what
we’re charged with is providing all the safeguards we
can for these caves. – TODD: The underground
ecosystem is very unique, not just in North America
but all over the world. Knowing we had a problem,
we looked for experts in the ant community that could
possibly help us out and we found Ed LeBrun over at
UT’s Brackenridge Field Lab. – ED: This is the invasive
species research group at the University of Texas at Austin. And we are working on a lot of
invasive species problems in the state of Texas. Most people in Texas,
when you’re talking about invasive ants are thinking
about red imported fire ants. They actually do less harm to
the native Texas ecosystems than these crazy ants do.– NARRATOR: Crazy ants,
so named for their
erratic movements, eat or
outcompete most of the spiders
and insects around them,including the
formidable fire ant.
– Fire ants are very tough. They have this extremely
toxic venom. She actually goes up and
literally takes the venom droplet off the end
of the fire ant stinger. And crazy ants, they go, they
fight, they get hit with fire ant venom, they just
keep fighting, they keep charging in and they
should all be dying. And so then here’s the crazy
ant detoxing from the venom. People when you tell them
they displace fire ants, it’s like, “Yea!” But the net effect
if very negative. Insects are the base of the
terrestrial food web, so if you knock out the
base of the food web, those impacts then
spread throughout the rest of the system, like birds and reptiles that feed directly
on the insects, which plants proliferate
and which plants don’t, so you can really change
the whole system by altering the
arthropod community. Here’s a trap.– NARRATOR: Such threats have
biologists searching for ways
to control crazy ants.Texas Parks and Wildlife
contributed funding to an
early investigation of
boric acid bait stations
in the field.– Unfortunately, it’s
not very promising. – We discovered that, although
the crazy ants loved the bait, brought the poison
back to their nests, that it just didn’t reduce
the densities of the ants that we were hoping for.– NARRATOR: In the lab,
there is now hope for a
natural enemy that some
crazy ants already carry.
– ED: These are uninfected ants,
so these were our control ants in that experiment. The microsporidian that
we’re working on is showing quite a bit of promise.– NARRATOR: A fungal parasite
specific to these ants
could help keep them in check.– The development of larvae to
workers is greatly reduced by infection, and the life span
of workers is reduced by about a quarter. There are these phydolese,
solonopsis, dipoloptrims, they are very tiny. And most of your ant diversity
is down at this kind of size. Tawny crazy ants are just a
very small component of the overall ant assemblage
down in Argentina.– NARRATOR: The world
of ants…
– ED: Leaf-cutting ants…
– NARRATOR: …is complex.
– ED: …we have here in Texas
as well, we haveAtta texana.– NARRATOR: So further studies
of ant interactions,
where crazy ants are native,
and where they are not,
may provide more ways to
minimize their impacts.
– FILM NARRATOR: The
subterranean nest, where the beast spawns its
terrible progeny.– NARRATOR: Meanwhile, we
should remember that the
very best solution to
invasive species problems
is to avoid creating them
in the first place.
– ED: Crazy ant queens
don’t fly. What that means is they don’t
have a way to infest new areas except for people moving them. And that’s unfortunately what’s
happening all over the state. So, people move them when they
take a potted plant somewhere that has ants in it. When you go to a garden store
to buy something, it’s important to look for ants. I mean you don’t have to
be an ant biologist, just look for ants and if
they’re covered in ants, don’t buy it. Recreational vehicles are
a problem as well. Being sure that there aren’t
any ants in your vehicle when you go to visit
a new place. [door slam] [intriguing music] Species invasion, it’s a natural process, right? Species have been moving
around the planet since there’s been a planet. The problem is, humans with our
commerce and everything we do, elevated the rate at which
these invasions happen by many orders of magnitude. And so the natural system
doesn’t have time to adjust before the next invader comes. The natural systems
are very resilient. If you can give them
time to adjust, they will. We should be paying attention, and we should be
investing resources in offsetting the impact. That’s why I work here. That’s what we’re about is
trying to change the dynamic so that we can preserve the
natural systems that we all grew up with. [intriguing music]

Honey Bee and Wasp Sugar Water Preferences Open Feeding What Bees Use First


okay so today is Friday the 13th in
October and what we have is an abundance of foraging bees and wasps in the air
and the resources are low so competition is high now what a lot of beekeepers do
is they open feed and they open feed a variety of different materials the most
popular is 50/50 sugar water and sugar like C&H pure cane sugar and what I have
here for this test and you’re looking at the time-lapse sequence here 50% so
that’s the 50/50 sugar water all the way to the right and this is by volume 25%
second from the right and 10% second from the left and 5% sugar water all the
way to the left and the water resource is the pure P U R filtered water that
we talked about before in the last test and turned out to be the water that was
preferred by the bees so this four minute time lapse sequence shows that
the bees really pile on the twenty five and fifty percent sugar water now sugar
and water together just provides the carbohydrate that the bees need to have
the energy to warm the hive and to forage of course
so by open feeding what we’re doing is we’re giving something for those
foragers to do plus they are bringing resources to the hive and they won’t be
attacking other colonies of honeybees hopefully if there were no resources in
the environment and as you can see in the background there the corn is dry and
ready for harvest there are very few flowering plants left so the stronger
colonies tend to converge on weaker colonies and raid them out and take
their resources so by open feeding you do two things you give those foragers
something to do and get their energy away from weaker colonies that may be
robbed out and you provide resources that will help them keep their hives
warm now the more water percentage there is compared to the sugar the more
dehydrating they have to do so once the imitation nectar here is taken into the
hive the bees have to dry it out and
condense it so that it becomes honey now you want to do this open feeding well
after you’ve taken honey off of your hives because you obviously don’t want
to be taking sugar water honey off as a resource for your own consumption so do
this after you’ve done your last harvest and so as you can see here the 50% 25%
are equally consumed by the bees they are just taking it down now I wish it
were backlit better so that you could see right now they’re down by 1/3 what
goes on is the bees are taking this all off in just a day so the entire cycle of
what you’re seeing in this video happens within a 24 hour period and the
time-lapse sequence is what I’m starting off with but if you’ll continue watching
I’ll get over some close-ups of the bees and some more discussion about what
other insects come to these feeders and again we’re using highly filtered water
this is from a well because my house is on a well so that’s pre filtered and
then I use the PUR filters that we get from Amazon I’ll put a link for that
in the video description I’ll also put a link to these drinkers that I use these
are 1 quart plastic drinkers and that’ll also be in the video description now what happened during the day of
course it warms up we started this sequence right after sunrise and the
bees of course the activity picks up after noon most foraging occurs late
morning early afternoon and here we are in the final sequences 10% 25% and 50%
are completely empty now and you notice that they’re concentrated all the way to
the left and look what is predominantly present here these are all wasps for the
most part the honeybees have already gone into their colonies for nighttime
protection and the wasps continue to forage well after sunset now for those of you who want to know
the exact weather conditions I decided to take a picture of my weather station
here and the sensor for wind we’re at 4 miles an hour we have 74 degrees outside
and 67% average humidity rainfall of course has been light for the whole
month we only have three point four four inches so this gives you kind of a base
for when I started and did this test I guess I could also if you’re interested
in this weather station I’ll put a link to that I got it on Amazon now for the
time lapse sequences I use the GoPro Hero 5 I just had that thing up on a
tripod right in front of all four the drinkers and set it for a shot every 5
seconds so here we are first one is 5 percent 5 percent sugar to water by
volume and if you notice the honeybees really didn’t care too much for that
overall we went to 10 percent they did show moderate interest in this but so
long as 25 percent and 50 percent sugar to water ratio was made available they
really heavily concentrated on that and here you see a mix of the honeybees
which are from my apiary I know some people get concerned and have made
comments in the past when I open feed that bees are coming from other apiaries
and we’re mixing potential varroa mites and things like that
well my bees are isolated we are at least five miles from the nearest
beekeeper in my area so for me open feeding number one I’m not wasting my
resources feeding other people’s bees and number two I’m really not that
concerned about contagions passing back and forth bee to bee while they’re
concentrated at these drinkers and this just shows again the GoPros setup so
here they are they’re concentrating to the Yellowjackets here in the foreground
lining up and now Yellowjackets even though they do raid beehives when
they’re all at an area like this where there’s an abundant resource they
congregate without attacking each other the exception to that though is and
you’ll see them in here see that bald-faced hornet which is really a
wasp but she’s on the right there kind of in the middle of the pack they show
up for nectar resources which is the sugar water but they’re also here to
attack kill and fly away with some of the smaller wasps they don’t seem to be
very successful against the honeybees but they are definitely here as dual
purpose predators one for the nectar and the second is to get some protein by
capturing a smaller wasp tearing it apart and bringing that back
to their nest site so by sunset this future percent sugar water was basically
empty and twenty five percent went down pretty much at the exact same rate I
think during this sequence we do still have some of the water in those
reservoirs and you can still see as the sun’s back lit twenty-five and fifty
percent are at fifty percent and the ten and five percent are down by about 20
percent now bees have to drink their food any
insect that you see that has that thorax and then the very thread thin
connection between the thorax and the abdomen meat protein isn’t gonna pass
through that so they can only drink now insects of different styles can handle
thicker liquid than others I hope some of you enjoyed those
slow-motion sequences they are a lower-resolution of course we will
improve on those at another time but these are cool in slow motion and here
we are again we’re just gonna continue to show the bees and wasps kind of
cooperating here at the drinkers now if you look closely there are a
variety of wasp species here and the ones when you see their abdomens and
they’ve got the yellow and black stripes going across them now we’re going into
nighttime so even though the video looks well lit this is actually after sunset
so what’s left at the feeders wasps so and wasps are not all the same I have
to tell you that you know like mud dobbers and some of the smaller
Yellowjackets woodland Yellowjackets they are pretty gentle to be around but
what we’re looking at here this nice large black and white one is what’s
known as a bald-faced hornet now they’re really just a wasp themselves but they
are really at the top of the food chain when it comes to wasps in our area and
some of them are here licking up the sugar water that’s remaining if you
notice all of these reservoirs are empty except for the 5% sugar water by now and
these boldface Hornets if you’ve seen my other videos I am NOT a fan of these
wasps they are really aggressive they can fly at night they navigate at night
they can squirt venom in your eyes they are just I don’t know what to say they
are a very very defensive and capable flying stinging insect and the cool
thing is here now that we’re after sunset and most of the honeybees have
gone to their hives you get to see on these reservoirs all these different
varieties of wasps and some of these again they’ve come from the woods some
of them are meadow some of them come from ground nests and
others are paper wasps there’s a honey bee real quick they’re like look at this
curious looking Los long and slender and they’re pretty docile I’m close to these
things they don’t have any protection on and they’re just pretty passive at this
point of course it’s cooling down it’s nighttime there’s a honey bee there on
the left but again as I said most of the honey bees have gone there’s a bee fly
there right in front of us that’s an imitator now I’m showing you my
bug-zooka this is what I use to collect sometimes Yellowjackets if they’re
really getting pesky I’m trying to work the bees but tonight
you know I just can’t let these boldface Hornets go so I’m gonna have to go after
them these are Yellow Jackets these are not my target species right now but I am
collecting bald faced Hornet so that I can look at them up close the bug-zooka
lets you catch things alive if you get something that you don’t want to kill
you can release it later after observation and for me in my case I can
photograph them but look at these different wasp species they’re really
interesting five percent the only thing that’s left
to drink from and you can see the honeybees are
congregated there to the right side of the screen these bees are staying kind
of grouped together and they’re gonna stay on these feeders overnight which is
interesting too now look at these boldface Hornets I
just can’t let him sit there look there you go taking them out with my bug-zooka
oh there’s another one she’s aggressive just you know they’re not like any other
wasp goodbye and these are what I would call you know passive friendly wasps
here those of you know your wasp species very well could chime in in the comment
section and share with all of us again it’s it’s fairly dark now don’t be
fooled by the exposure of the video camera that I’m using which makes it
look well lit we are well past sunset and of course these honey bees have
moved up underneath this brick to protect themselves from heavy dew and of
course the cold temps overnight in the morning they’ll find their way back to
their hives another bald-faced hornet got that one and there’s a bald-faced
hornet if you’ve ever had an encounter with bald-faced hornet so you know
exactly what I’m talking about they come at you like nothing else just look at
her going after all the other wasps that are just there to drink she is not a
friendly wasp when it comes to the drinking hole here yeah got you too! so we’re putting away
everything packing up the GoPro and of course here’s a little wasp on it very
timid you know we’re out here we’re not at their nest so keep in mind wasps when
they’re out of the feeding space are not defending that site so they’re very easy
to approach and here’s my collection for the evening a bald-faced hornet so i’m
gonna take these back and get some close-up photographs of them and again
my least favorite wasp I’ll put a link to the bug-zooka – if you’re interested
in that now here we are this is the following morning actually right at
sunrise it’s cold and it’s rainy and who’s out flying around the Yellow
Jackets Yellow Jackets have a huge advantage over the honeybee they fly in
colder temperatures I’ve seen Yellow Jackets flying around in 38 degrees
Fahrenheit and they are able to gather resources before the honeybees are even
out and about and if you look at the ones that have the abdomens with the
independent dots on left and right going down the back that’s a queen so this
time of year a lot of the Yellowjackets that are going out and about are the
newly hatched Queens that are gonna hope to winner over here because the
temperatures are getting colder and they’ll be the ones that will establish
new colonies in the spring of next year so they are definitely hungry for
carbohydrates thank you for watching this video I hope you got something out
of it and I hope you enjoyed seeing these wasps up close and what sugar
preferences the bees and wasps have thanks again

Charlie Hunnam Sprinted Naked Through a Forest to Escape a Wasp Attack

Charlie Hunnam Sprinted Naked Through a Forest to Escape a Wasp Attack


-You just got back
from traveling. Where were you? -I was all over the place,
but for the last few months, few months leading up to the
holidays, I was in India. -Yeah, you were in India.
-Whoo! -What were you doing there?
Can we say what you were doing? -I was —
I’m shooting a TV show, a new TV show for Apple.
-Oh. -An adaptation of the novel
“Shantaram.” -Ah. And how —
It didn’t really go — I mean, the shooting went well,
and the project is great, but you didn’t have
the best time in India. -No, there were some challenges. I had a series of pretty
significant health issues that, as they went on,
seemed like a series of
assassination attempts. I got a — I got
a lung infection which turns into
a sinus infection. And then I got conjunctivitis
in both my eyes. [ Audience groans ]
Then I got an ear infection. Then I got strep throat,
then a bacterial gut infection. And then I got bitten
by a mosquito and contracted dengue fever. [ Audience exclaims ] -It is —
[ Laughter ] -Thank you.
[ Applause ] -They should have
put you in a box, and I had to touch you.
I mean, wow. -It was kind of confounding,
’cause I kind of pride myself on having impeccable
personal hygiene, but I think some of those things
sometimes go against you. I think my immune system
was too delicate because I’m too clean. -You’re too clean, so you got to
get out there and just start — -You got to roll around
in the mud a little bit. -Yeah.
-Yeah. -But you have a weird kind of
history of almost dying. -I do. I do. This year particularly. It was a strange year. -Hopefully it’s over with. -Well, we’ll see. I mean, I had a mosquito
in my room last night. -That doesn’t count.
That doesn’t count. -But it’s New York,
and it’s January, and I was on the eighth floor. -Think he’s, like,
a super mutant mosquito? -You know, I was worried,
because I don’t — I don’t know the ins and outs
of dengue fever. You have it for a period of
time, but then the antibodies
stay in your body, obviously, ’cause you have to get tested, and that’s the way
antibodies work. And I wondered,
if that mosquito bit me, does then that mosquito
contract dengue fever, and then the next person
who checks into that hotel — These are the things
you got to ask yourself. These are the things that I stay
up late night worrying about. -You’re trying to save lives
out here. -I am. You know, I’m doing
what I can for the people. -[ Laughs ] Wow. -It was a weird year.
It started off getting a — I went camping, and I got a deer
tick that burrowed into my leg, and I did not contract
Lyme disease, ’cause I once
had gotten a deer tick in the highlands of Scotland, which I didn’t even know
had Lyme disease, and I got Lyme disease. But I didn’t get Lyme disease. But a very strange thing
happened to me when I went camping
a few months later. I went out looking
for firewood one day, and it was end of the season.
It was kind of picked dry. And so I was pretty far
from my camp. And I was just wearing
some sweatpants and a t-shirt. And there were three trees
fallen into a triangle, and in those trees
was a mother lode of firewood. So I said,
“Alright, here we go.” And I got up, and I was… crouched down like this
picking up firewood, and all of a sudden, wham, like, a snakebite
in the perineum. -Where’s — The perineum,
where is that? -The perineum is that sweet
piece of no man’s land between the anus
and the scrotum. -Okay.
[ Applause ] -Alright, so —
-That is a suboptimal place to get bitten by a snake. -Yeah, yeah, yeah.
So, a snake jumped out and — -So, I —
That’s what it felt like. And I look down,
and there was no snake. So I was trying to process
what could have happened, and, bam, another shrill pain
in my ass cheek. -Okay. -Then one
in the back of my head, and then one under my armpit, and I realized I was under siege
from yellow jackets. I’d kicked over
a nest of yellow jackets. And as I was processing
this angry swarm coming at me — Sorry. I’m very bad
at microphone etiquette. As I was processing
this swarm coming at me, I got stung about another
10 times in about 5 seconds. So I took off running, as any,
you know, heroic figure would. I took off sprinting
through the forest and ran for about
a minute and a half and stopped to see
what was happening and immediately bam, bam, bam, got stung about
another five times. Now I’m starting
to get really worried, you know? I don’t know much
about yellow jackets. But I assume 20 bites
is probably — or stings is probably reaching
the threshold. -[ Laughing ] Oh, my God. -So, I ripped
all of my clothes off. I kicked my shoes off,
and I took all my clothes off. -Yeah.
-And then — And then put my shoes back on
and continued sprinting completely naked. [ Women cheering ] And this is all true. I realized at that moment I was
actually inside a nightmare, a recurring nightmare. I for many years had had this
recurring dream that I was — a nightmare that I was sprinting
for my life naked in a forest. In that moment, I was literally inside —
-Living — -I was living
my recurring nightmare. -Oh, my goodness. -And I haven’t had
that dream since. So it was something of
a prophecy or something, right? So I’m going to start — I’m going to start taking —
[ Cheers and applause ] I’m gonna start taking these
dreams a little more seriously. -That is unbelievable.
-Yeah. -So it was not a snake at all. -No.
-But, gosh, that’s awful. Did you have to go
to the hospital? -I did, but I —
Well, you know, it’s funny. I was very sick that day. And
my — I was with my girlfriend, and she went and got the park
ranger. I mean, we were way out. And she went and got a ranger,
and he came and looked at me. He said, “You’re probably
going to be okay.” And I was sort of okay that day, and then two days later,
I got very, very sick. And I spoke to my doctor,
and he said, “You had probably so much venom
in your system that your body starts to create
antibodies to fight the venom.” And then if I got stung again, because I have those antibodies
in my system now, I could have a bad reaction. So I’m supposed to carry
an EpiPen, but of course,
I’m an idiot, and I don’t. -Maybe you got superpowers
for a day. -Maybe.
-Like, maybe you — -They didn’t do me much good
in India, let me tell you. -No, that’s true.
[ Laughs ] I forgot about India.
Never mind. Yeah. -So it was a strange year, 20– But we’re in a new decade now. -Here we are. Yeah.
-We’ll see. -Oh, please. It’s going to be
the best year for you yet.

Cockroaches, Alligators & Other Weird Sources of New Drugs

Cockroaches, Alligators & Other Weird Sources of New Drugs


Antibiotics are one of humankind’s most amazing
discoveries. Ever since that fateful day in 1928 when Scottish physician Alexander Fleming
noticed a funny mold growing in one of his petri dishes, antibiotics have been kicking
bacterial butt. That famous mold, of course, was producing
penicillin, the founding antibiotic superstar, which has since extended the average human
life by at least a decade. It fundamentally changed the face of medicine. Antibiotics,
or antimicrobials, are basically selective poisons designed to either kill or slow the
growth of bacteria to the point where your body’s own immune system can clean up. These
drugs target a specific part of bacteria or some important stage in their development
without damaging the body’s host cells. And they’re really great their job. Until they
aren’t. Lately, antibiotic technology has been having
a hard time keeping pace with bacterial evolution. We’ve talked here on SciShow about how lots
of your die-hard, go-to favorite antibiotics are starting to lose their mojo in the face
of sneaky and rapidly evolving bacteria. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
estimates that at least 2,000,000 Americans became infected with drug-resistant bacteria
in 2012, and 23,000 of them died as a result. These superbugs are deadly serious and could
quickly unleash a global health crisis if we don’t find a way to keep them in check.
The problem is we’ve already hit up many of the most obvious sources of antibiotics, like
fungi, which includes penicillin, and synthetic molecules.
Fortunately, we humans have big, delicious brains, and some of the best of them are hard
at work trying to invent all-new ways to kill dangerous bacteria or find other organisms
on the planet that are better at it than we are so we can steal their secrets. And while
they’re finding some promising leads, I gotta say, they’re looking in some pretty weird
places. [Intro] You know how everyone jokes that after some
big global disaster, only cockroaches will survive? Well, we recently found what may
partially explain their famous, and infuriating, tenacity. Research from the University of
Nottingham suggests that certain insects, like roaches and locusts, have brain tissues
that are infused with super-powered antibiotic juju. The researchers found nine different
antibiotic molecules tucked into the roaches’ nervous systems that may be protecting them
from otherwise lethal bacteria. They’re all a type of molecule known as peptides, short
chains of amino acids that make up proteins, kinda like proto-proteins. And these peptides
are specific to the bugs’ brains. They seem to be chemicals that roaches” brain cells
use to communicate with each other, y’know, whenever a cockroach is sitting around thinking
about stuff, which I guess can happen, and although we’re not sure how these peptides
actually work, laboratory tests have shown that they’re incredibly effective at eliminating
some of our least favorite bacteria, like the most dangerous strains of e.coli, which
cause gastrointestinal infections. And even MRSA, a super-resistant type of staphylococcus
bacterium that can cause unstoppable deadly infections in humans, particularly in hospitals.
In lab trials, these roach brain molecules killed over 90% of MRSA bacteria, without
harming any host cells. So I can guess what you’re thinking: shut
up and take my money! Well, hold on a sec, because we’re a bit away from having cockroach
brains on the pharmacy shelves. There’s still loads of technical hurdles to overcome, tests
to conduct, basic things we need to figure out, like how exactly these molecules work.
But roaches aren’t the only hardy animals out there. Alligators are some of the Earth’s
most rugged beasts. They essentially live in cesspool swamps teeming with bacteria and
fungus and other microbes, and more than that, they’re known brawlers. Put just a few territorial
800 pound toothy reptiles together in a dirty swamp, and you will no doubt come out with
some serious bite marks and bloody wounds, even missing limbs. But amazingly, what you
probably won’t find are any infections. This got some bayou scientists to thinkin’!
Dr. Mark Merchant, a biochemist at McNeese State University in Louisiana, helped conduct
a decade long study that investigated what makes alligators so unusually resistant to
bacterial and fungal infection. Turns out, it’s in their blood. An alligator’s
immune system is largely innate, meaning it can fight off harmful micro-organisms without
having any prior exposure to them. They just pop right out of their eggs ready to do battle.
We humans also have some innate immunity, provided by things like our skin and white
blood cells, but a big part of our immunities are adaptive, meaning we often develop a resistance
to specific diseases only after being exposed to them. Which of course is not ideal all
the time, but alligators get to skip this step. Researchers examining blood samples from American
alligators isolated their infection fighting white blood cells and then extracted the active
proteins working in those cells. And these two included a special class of peptides which
seemed to have a knack for weakening the membranes of bacteria, causing them to die. When pitted
against a wide range of bacteria including drug-resistant MRSA, these tough little peptides
proved to be effective killers. They also wiped out 6 of 8 strains of candida albicans,
a type of yeast infection that’s particularly troublesome for AIDS and transplant patients
with weakened immune systems. Such compounds may also be found in similar animals, like
crocodiles, Komodo dragons, and the skins of some frogs and toads. So far, lab trials
have shown that gator blood can kill at least 23 different strains of bacteria including
salmonella, e.coli, staph, and strep infections AND even a strain of HIV. For now, scientists
are working to find the exact chemical structures at work in four of these promising chemicals
and pinpoint which types are best at killing which microbes. One problem so far: high concentrations
of gator blood serum have already been found to be so powerful that they are toxic to human
cells. So other biologists are taking a different approach in the search for the next generation
of antibiotics. Rather than looking at other animals, they’re
exploring strange, new places, like cave soils and deep-sea sediments. Researchers have recently
discovered evidence of promising new fungi strains living way down in hundred million
year old nutrient-starved sediments in the Pacific Ocean. Everyone thought this was a
near-dead zone for life, too harsh and remote an environment for something like fungi to
survive in. Just a decade ago, the only living things known to inhabit such deep sediment
layers were single-celled bacteria and archaea, organisms known to flourish in extreme environments.
But while examining dredged up sediments from as deep as 127 meters into the sea floor,
scientists found fungi of at least eight different types, four of which they successfully cultured
in the lab. Some of the fungi even belonged to the genus Penicillium, which we have to
thank for the development of penicillin. Now, we’re not exactly sure how old these fungi
are, but they are definitely quite old and maybe, more importantly, they appear to have
been living in isolation for eons. If that’s the case, they may have evolved specific and
unusual defenses against bacteria, which, just like their penicillin kin in that famous
petri dish, could end up being a new and powerful source of antibiotics.
And there’s one more strategy that scientists are using, one that works in espionage as
well as in medicine. And that is seeing what the enemy is up to.
While exploring life in strange new places around the world, some biologists are looking
for bacteria that have never been exposed to our drugs, but still appear to be naturally
resistant to them. Wherever we find the most naturally resistant
bacteria, we might also find natural antibiotics that we never knew about.
And here, one of the most promising leads is again in one of the hardest-to-reach places:
New Mexico’s Lechuguilla cave, a place that was isolated from all human contact until
it was discovered in the 1980’s. One of the many fascinating things that scientists
have discovered here is that the cave bacteria seem to be resistant to everything.
Even though they’ve never been exposed to us or our drugs, all of the bacteria have
proven to be resistant to at least one major antibiotic, and many tend to fend off more
than a dozen of the most powerful antimicrobials we have. This suggests to scientists that
the bacteria have evolved to be this way because they live in an environment that’s rich in
naturally occurring antibiotics, ones that the germs we live with up here on the surface
have never encountered. Now we just have to find out what exactly
those compounds are. So look, I’m not going to lie to you: we have
a lot of work to do. While we might discover a new super-drug lurking
in a cave or under the sea or in a cockroach’s head, there’s a big difference between finding
a substance that cleans house in a petri dish and actually putting a new antibiotic in the
vein of a human patient. So the bummer is, as promising as some of
these bold new discoveries may be, none of them has yet yielded an actual marketable
drug. Still, there’s a long list of successful antibiotics
that we’ve managed to derive from strange sources, starting with Dr. Fleming’s rogue
fungus. So if we keep exploring strange new places
and studying how other animals deal with the problems we’re facing, we just might find
the next penicillin before the superbugs get the best of us. Thanks for watching this SciShow Infusion,
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