Related topics: cells · bacteria · infectious diseases · bacterium

Sweet! How C. difficile toxin A enters intestinal cells

Clostridiodes difficile infection has become a leading cause of severe, sometimes fatal diarrheal illness. It flourishes best in hospitals and long-term care facilities where people are on long-term antibiotic treatment, ...

Cell-like nanorobots clear bacteria and toxins from blood

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed tiny ultrasound-powered robots that can swim through blood, removing harmful bacteria along with the toxins they produce. These proof-of-concept nanorobots ...

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 ...

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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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