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Jellyfish research leads to ‘sting stopper’ for Nyad’s Cuba-to-Florida swim
Dr. Angel Yanagihara diving for box jellyfish. Photo credit: Keoki Stender, UH Dive Safety Office

Jellyfish research leads to ‘sting stopper’ for Nyad’s Cuba-to-Florida swim

“The Jellyfish Lady.”  That’s the way the DISCOVERY CHANNEL is currently describing Dr. Angel Yanagihara of the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) at the University of Hawai`i. The intrepid biomedical researcher is regularly featured in news articles and scientific documentaries, which recognize her as one of the world’s most accomplished experts in box jellyfish.

Dr. Yanagihara has developed an ointment she calls the “sting stopper” to combat the painful stings from box jellies. Just two months ago, while serving on an escort boat, Dr. Yanagihara used her “sting stopper” to help 64-year-old swimmer Diana Nyad make history. Nyad was able to swim solo across the channel from Cuba to Florida, partly due to Yanagihara’s help. The gel allowed Nyad to escape much of the pain which had crippled her previous effort to cross the channel. Like Hawai`i, that part of the ocean is filled with stinging box jellies.

The new video follows Dr. Yanagihara as she collects box jellies off O`ahu and then into her lab at the University of Hawai`i.

To watch the video, click DISCOVERY CHANNEL VIDEO.

This article by Tina Shelton originally appeared on the JABSOM news website UHMedNow (October 3, 2013).

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