Related topics: cells · bacteria · infectious diseases · bacterium

Newly identified compound binds to Shiga toxin to reduce its toxicity

A strain of E. coli bacteria called enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) is known to cause several gastrointestinal disorders, which include bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps, by damaging the intestinal lining. When accompanied ...

Mechanism of bacterial toxins in deadly attacks

Only one thousandth of a milligram of the bacterial botulinum toxin is necessary to kill a living organism. The toxin unfolds its lethal effect by preventing the release of neurotransmitters at the point where nerve cells ...

Native New Zealand tree puts the sting on pain

Researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) have found that a native New Zealand stinging tree produces toxins that could hold clues for future pain medication.

Diphthamide is an Achilles heel shared by both plants and animals

The biomolecule diphthamide is essential for the proper formation of proteins in cells. When humans are infected with diphtheria, diphthamide is altered by the diphtheria toxin so that life-threatening complications can arise ...

Snake genome research expands understanding of krait venom

Bungarus multicinctus, or the many-banded krait as it commonly called, is a highly venomous elapid snake widely distributed across southern Asia. Available antivenoms show good neutralizing efficacy but can exhibit batch-to-batch ...

When does resistance to toxins evolve in animals?

Does a snake die when it bites its lip? Why will a mongoose survive a scorpion's sting, but we humans perish? These questions occupied the minds of toxin-enthusiasts and Master's students in Biology Jory van Thiel and Roel ...

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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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