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New species of spiders discovered by UBC scientist in Papua New Guinea
Date:3/25/2009

imals like insects and spiders and plants may hold the secret to many of the world's unknown chemicals.

"Spider venom has evolved for millions of years to affect the neurological systems of the spider's insect prey, and each species of spider gives us another opportunity to find medically useful chemicals," says Maddison. "Jumping spiders with their remarkably miniaturized yet acute eyes could help us understand how to push the limits of vision. In addition to filling in the gaps in our planet's natural history, exploring spider biodiversity and evolution could potentially inform fields as diverse as medicine and robotics."

"More than anything else, it's an amazingly beautiful world and we're simply trying to reveal it," says Maddison, who will be sharing his experience on the expedition during an April 16 public lecture hosted by the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. "There is a whole lot of beauty in these small spiders if we look closely enough."


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Contact: Brian Lin
brian.lin@ubc.ca
604-822-2234
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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