A few years ago, an Egyptian young man deserted his archaeology degree to dedicate his passion and interest among the venoms of snakes and scorpions for the development of medical facilities in the desert.
The 25 year old Mohamed Hamdy Boshta is now the owner of the Cairo Venom Company. This company has more than 80,000 scorpions in several farms across the country of Egypt. The collection of snake venom is also preserved for the same.
Caught using a coloured UV light, the scorpions are exposed to a tiny electric current to stimulate the release of the venom, one gram of which can produce between 20,000 and 50,000 doses of antivenom. Antivenoms are purified antibodies against venoms or venom components. Antivenoms are produced from antibodies made by animals to injected venoms.
A gram of scorpion venom can fetch $10,000 and Boshta exports it to Europe and the U.S. where it is used to make antivenom and a range of other medicines, including for conditions such as hypertension.