Brown recluse spider
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Taking the sting out of spider venom

7 August 2013 Last updated at 09:06 BST

Brown recluse spiders bite more than 7,000 people in Brazil every year, causing serious skin lesions and even death.

Luckily, a life-saving anti-venom is available, but it comes with its own risks - mostly to the animals involved in the production process.

For Health Check, Ben Tavener reports from Brazil on a new, synthetic venom that could lead to a more humane solution.