This Week: Suffering Stings for Science

Entomologist Justin Schmidt has been suffering for his science by seeking out stinging insects and suffering their stings in order to build an objectively calibrated index of insect-caused pain.

There's a long tradition of suffering for your work, but for Entomologist Dr. Justin Schmidt it's more literal than most.  When he set out to study the effects of stinging insects on humans, he decided the only way to do it was to become the experiment.  So he searched the world for the nastiest bees, wasps and ants, and let them do their throbbing, blistering and burning worst.  He became a connoisseur of suffering, generating a carefully calibrated and scientifically rigorous pain scale, ranging from the tolerable sting of a humble bee to the intense and brilliant 12-hour pain from the bite of the bullet ant. We speak to him about his new book, The Sting of the Wild, which is a pain-filled journey about getting stung in the name of science.

Plus - an autonomous surgical robot makes a stitch in time.

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