Related topics: cells · bacteria · infectious diseases · bacterium

First genetic sequencing of Brazilian pit viper is completed

A group led by researchers at Butantan Institute and funded by São Paulo Research Foundation—FAPESP has completed the first sequencing of a Brazilian snake's genome. The study is reported in an article published in the ...

The very venomous caterpillar

The venom of a caterpillar, native to South East Queensland, shows promise for use in medicines and pest control, Institute for Molecular Bioscience researchers say.

Mathematical model developed to prevent botulism

Food producers can use a mathematical model developed at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, to ensure their products do not cause botulism. It is the most comprehensive model of its kind.

A bacterial toxin that acts as a mediator rather than a killer

Traditionally, bacterial toxins have been seen as killers of target cells. But is there more than meets the eye? Umeå University Professor Teresa Frisan and her team have discovered that toxin-host interactions are more ...

Synthetic mucus can mimic the real thing

More than just a sign of illness, mucus is a critical part of our body's defenses against disease. Every day, our bodies produce more than a liter of the slippery substance, covering a surface area of more than 400 square ...

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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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