Primary school play was subject to interruption by sandstorms, and on one occasion spent indoors to avoid a plague of locusts, so dense as to make breathing difficult. Knowing then of locusts from stories of the plagues of Egypt, my memory is of surprise that hedge and tree leaves were largely uneaten. And 'show and tell' was made the more exotic because a friend's father had ready access to formalin - his son regularly bringing in a preserved scorpion or multi-coloured snake. Both may use in their venom sarafatoxin, a primitive form of endothelin, to immobilise pray through causing angina, due to severe coronary artery spasm. This knowledge about toxins arose from the discovery of endothelin by Yanagisawa, reported in 1988
The ancient town of Arapha, near the modern Kirkuk area oil field discovered in 1927, was an important centre in the time of the Babylonian King Hammurabi (fl. 1792 BC to 1750 BC), who provided the early legal Hammurabi Code, including rules for good medical practice, dating back to around 1772 BC. A historical connection to an early example of guidelines for 'personalising medicine'.
© DRJ Singer