There are thousands of venomous animal species on Earth. Just a few of the most lethal are the Gila monster, the death adder, the fugu puffer fish and the Sydney funnel web spider. Medical researchers are finding a positive side to these dangerous creatures: the complex and highly sophisticated poisons produced by these creatures have components that might save lives rather than kill. The PBS show, Nature, Victims of Venom, illustrates how some of the animals we fear most may one day soon be helping us solve or alleviate a wide range of life-threatening medical problems. Venomous animals use their toxins to capture prey or defend themselves. They inflict their poisons by biting, stinging, and, in the case of some marine animals, by emitting venom into the water so it can be absorbed through the skin. The venom itself typically comprises many different substances that have various effects on their victims. The film introduces us to carefully trained researchers around the world who are risking harm - even death - to themselves by "milking" the venom of live animals so that the various components of these poisons can be studied in great detail and better understood, perhaps preparing the way for clinical trials against a variety of diseases and medical conditions. It's not only a dangerous job but a laborious one, since only tiny amounts of venom can be extracted at a time. Heart disease, stroke, various cancers, and the management of chronic and severe pain are other potential targets of the chemicals that comprise venom.