Related topics: cells · bacteria · infectious diseases · bacterium

A possible alternative to antibiotics

Scientists from the University of Bern have developed a novel substance for the treatment of severe bacterial infections without antibiotics, which would prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.

Toxin in centipede venom identified

A team of researchers from several institutions in China has identified the toxin in golden head centipede venom. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes how they found ...

Botulinum-type toxins jump to a new kind of bacteria

Enterococci are hardy microbes that thrive in the gastrointestinal tracts of nearly all land animals, including our own, and generally cause no harm. But their ruggedness has lately made them leading causes of multi-drug-resistant ...

Genetic research reveals Neanderthals could tolerate smoke

The idea that modern humans displaced Neanderthals because they were better protected against toxic smoke components is now under fire. An earlier study that put forward this suggestion has now been refuted by genetic research ...

Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant ...

Vibrio bacteria found in Norwegian seafood and seawater

(PhysOrg.com) -- While working on her doctorate, Anette Bauer Ellingsen discovered potentially disease-causing vibrios (Vibrio cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus) in Norwegian seafood and inshore seawater.

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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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