Related topics: cells · bacteria · infectious diseases · bacterium

Spider venom is a dangerous cocktail

Spider venom does not only consist of neurotoxins but also of a multitude of dangerous constituents. Researchers of the University of Bern present a summary of many years of spider venom research in a new study and show how ...

Stranded dolphins have amyloid plaques in their brains

Dolphins stranded on the beaches of Florida and Massachusetts show in their brains amyloid plaques, a hallmark in human beings of Alzheimer's disease, together with an environmental toxin produced by cyanobacterial blooms.

Toxin-spewing bacteria decoded

Scientists at Emory University School of Medicine have identified a central regulator of toxin production in the bacterium C. difficile, the most common cause of healthcare-associated infections in the United States. C. difficile ...

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Toxin

A toxin (Greek: τοξικόν, toxikon) is a poisonous substance produced by living cells or organisms. (Although technically man is a living organism, man-made substances created by artificial processes usually aren't considered toxins by this definition.)

For a toxic substance not produced by living organisms, "toxicant" is the more appropriate term, and "toxics" is an acceptable plural.

Toxins can be small molecules, peptides, or proteins that are capable of causing disease on contact with or absorption by body tissues interacting with biological macromolecules such as enzymes or cellular receptors. Toxins vary greatly in their severity, ranging from usually minor and acute (as in a bee sting) to almost immediately deadly (as in botulinum toxin).

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