Scientists Can Literally Become Allergic to Their Research

Researchers spend long periods of time around the organisms they study. Sometimes, that exposure has unintended—and potentially deadly—effects.

This story originally appeared on Undark and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Bryan Fry’s heart was pounding as he stepped back from the snake enclosure and examined the bite marks on his hand. He had just been bitten by a death adder, one of Australia’s most venomous snakes. Its neurotoxin-laced bite could cause vomiting, paralysis and—as the name suggests—death.

Fry, at the time a graduate student, had kept snakes for years. Oddly, the neurotoxins weren’t his biggest worry; the nearby hospital would have the antivenom he needed,

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