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Toxin
A toxin is a naturally occurring organic poison produced by metabolic activities of living cells or organisms. Toxins occur especially as a protein or conjugated protein. The term toxin was first used by organic chemist Ludwig Brieger (1849–1919) and is derived from the word toxic. 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 toxicity, ranging from usually minor (such as a bee sting) to potentially fatal even at extremely low doses (such as botulinum toxin). Toxins are largely secondary metabolites, which are organic compounds that are not directly involved in an organism's growth, development, or reproduction, instead often aiding it in matters of defense. Terminology Toxins are often distinguished from other chemical agents strictly based on their biological origin. ...
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Botulinum Toxin
Botulinum toxin, or botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium ''Clostridium botulinum'' and related species. It prevents the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from axon endings at the neuromuscular junction, thus causing flaccid paralysis. The toxin causes the disease botulism. The toxin is also used commercially for medical and cosmetic purposes. The seven main types of botulinum toxin are named types A to G (A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F and G). New types are occasionally found. Types A and B are capable of causing disease in humans, and are also used commercially and medically. Types C–G are less common; types E and F can cause disease in humans, while the other types cause disease in other animals. Botulinum toxins are among the most potent toxins known. Intoxication can occur naturally as a result of either wound or intestinal infection or by ingesting formed toxin in food. The estimated human lethal dose of type A toxin is ...
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Venom
Venom or zootoxin is a type of toxin produced by an animal that is actively delivered through a wound by means of a bite, sting, or similar action. The toxin is delivered through a specially evolved ''venom apparatus'', such as fangs or a stinger, in a process called envenomation. Venom is often distinguished from poison, which is a toxin that is passively delivered by being ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, and toxungen, which is actively transferred to the external surface of another animal via a physical delivery mechanism. Venom has evolved in terrestrial and marine environments and in a wide variety of animals: both predators and prey, and both vertebrates and invertebrates. Venoms kill through the action of at least four major classes of toxin, namely necrotoxins and cytotoxins, which kill cells; neurotoxins, which affect nervous systems; myotoxins, which damage muscles; and haemotoxins, which disrupt blood clotting. Venomous animals cause tens of t ...
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Toxungen
Toxungen comprises a secretion of one or more biological toxins that is transferred by one animal to the external surface of another animal via a physical delivery mechanism. Toxungens can be delivered through spitting, spraying, or smearing. As one of three categories of biological toxins, toxungens can be distinguished from poisons, which are passively transferred via ingestion, inhalation, or absorption across the skin, and venoms, which are delivered through a wound generated by a bite, sting, or other such action. Toxungen use offers the evolutionary advantage of delivering toxins into the target's tissues without the need for physical contact. Taxonomic distribution Toxungens have evolved in a variety of animals, including flatworms, insects, arachnids, cephalopods, amphibians, and reptiles. Toxungen use possibly exists in birds, as a number of species deploy defensive secretions from their stomachs, uropygial glands, or cloacas, and some anoint themselves with heterogen ...
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Naturally Occurring
A natural product is a natural compound or substance produced by a living organism—that is, found in nature. In the broadest sense, natural products include any substance produced by life. Natural products can also be prepared by chemical synthesis (both semisynthesis and total synthesis) and have played a central role in the development of the field of organic chemistry by providing challenging synthetic targets. The term natural product has also been extended for commercial purposes to refer to cosmetics, dietary supplements, and foods produced from natural sources without added artificial ingredients. Within the field of organic chemistry, the definition of natural products is usually restricted to organic compounds isolated from natural sources that are produced by the pathways of primary or secondary metabolism. Within the field of medicinal chemistry, the definition is often further restricted to secondary metabolites. Secondary metabolites (or specialized metabolites ...
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Hemotoxin
Hemotoxins, haemotoxins or hematotoxins are toxins that destroy red blood cells, disrupt blood clotting, and/or cause organ degeneration and generalized tissue damage. The term ''hemotoxin'' is to some degree a misnomer since toxins that damage the blood also damage other tissues. Injury from a hemotoxic agent is often very painful and can cause permanent damage and in severe cases death. Loss of an affected limb is possible even with prompt treatment. Hemotoxins are frequently employed by venomous animals, including snakes ( vipers and pit vipers) and spiders (brown recluse). Animal venoms contain enzymes and other proteins that are hemotoxic or neurotoxic or occasionally both (as in the Mojave rattlesnake, the Japanese mamushi, and similar species). In addition to killing the prey, part of the function of a hemotoxic venom for some animals is to aid digestion. The venom breaks down protein in the region of the bite, making prey easier to digest. The process by which a hemotoxi ...
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Poison
Poison is a chemical substance that has a detrimental effect to life. The term is used in a wide range of scientific fields and industries, where it is often specifically defined. It may also be applied colloquially or figuratively, with a broad sense. Whether something is considered a poison may change depending on the amount, the circumstances, and what living things are present. Poisoning could be accidental or deliberate, and if the cause can be identified there may be ways to neutralise the effects or minimise the symptoms. In biology, a poison is a chemical substance causing death, injury or harm to organisms or their parts. In medicine, poisons are a kind of toxin that are delivered passively, not actively. In industry the term may be negative, something to be removed to make a thing safe, or positive, an agent to limit unwanted pests. In ecological terms, poisons introduced into the environment can later cause unwanted effects elsewhere, or in other parts of the food ...
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Poison
Poison is a chemical substance that has a detrimental effect to life. The term is used in a wide range of scientific fields and industries, where it is often specifically defined. It may also be applied colloquially or figuratively, with a broad sense. Whether something is considered a poison may change depending on the amount, the circumstances, and what living things are present. Poisoning could be accidental or deliberate, and if the cause can be identified there may be ways to neutralise the effects or minimise the symptoms. In biology, a poison is a chemical substance causing death, injury or harm to organisms or their parts. In medicine, poisons are a kind of toxin that are delivered passively, not actively. In industry the term may be negative, something to be removed to make a thing safe, or positive, an agent to limit unwanted pests. In ecological terms, poisons introduced into the environment can later cause unwanted effects elsewhere, or in other parts of the food ...
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Secondary Metabolites
Secondary metabolites, also called specialised metabolites, toxins, secondary products, or natural products, are organic compounds produced by any lifeform, e.g. bacteria, fungi, animals, or plants, which are not directly involved in the normal growth, development, or reproduction of the organism. Instead, they generally mediate ecological interactions, which may produce a selective advantage for the organism by increasing its survivability or fecundity. Specific secondary metabolites are often restricted to a narrow set of species within a phylogenetic group. Secondary metabolites often play an important role in plant defense against herbivory and other interspecies defenses. Humans use secondary metabolites as medicines, flavourings, pigments, and recreational drugs. The term secondary metabolite was first coined by Albrecht Kossel, a 1910 Nobel Prize laureate for medicine and physiology in 1910. 30 years later a Polish botanist Friedrich Czapek described secondary met ...
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Toxicant
A toxicant is any toxic substance, whether man-made or naturally occurring. By contrast, a toxin is a poison produced naturally by an organism (e.g. plant, animal, insect). The different types of toxicants can be found in the air, soil, water, or food. Occurrence Toxicants can be found in the air, soil, water, or food. Humans can be exposed to environmental toxicants. Fish can contain environmental toxicants. Cigarette smoke contains toxicants. E-cigarette aerosol also contains toxicants. The emissions of a heat-not-burn tobacco product contains toxicants. Most heavy metals are toxicants. Diesel exhaust contains toxicants. Pesticides, benzene, and asbestos-like fibers such as carbon nanotubes are toxicants. Possible developmental toxicants include phthalates, phenols, sunscreens, pesticides, halogenated flame retardants, perfluoroalkyl coatings, nanoparticles, e-cigarettes, and dietary polyphenols. Related terms By contrast, a toxin is a poison produced naturally by an org ...
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Xenobiotic
A xenobiotic is a chemical substance found within an organism that is not naturally produced or expected to be present within the organism. It can also cover substances that are present in much higher concentrations than are usual. Natural compounds can also become xenobiotics if they are taken up by another organism, such as the uptake of natural human hormones by fish found downstream of sewage treatment plant outfalls, or the chemical defenses produced by some organisms as protection against predators. The term xenobiotics, however, is very often used in the context of pollutants such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls and their effect on the biota, because xenobiotics are understood as substances foreign to an entire biological system, i.e. artificial substances, which did not exist in nature before their synthesis by humans. The term xenobiotic is derived from the Greek words ξένος (xenos) = foreigner, stranger and βίος (bios) = life, plus the Greek suffix ...
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Toxic
Toxicity is the degree to which a chemical substance or a particular mixture of substances can damage an organism. Toxicity can refer to the effect on a whole organism, such as an animal, bacterium, or plant, as well as the effect on a substructure of the organism, such as a cell ( cytotoxicity) or an organ such as the liver ( hepatotoxicity). By extension, the word may be metaphorically used to describe toxic effects on larger and more complex groups, such as the family unit or society at large. Sometimes the word is more or less synonymous with poisoning in everyday usage. A central concept of toxicology is that the effects of a toxicant are dose-dependent; even water can lead to water intoxication when taken in too high a dose, whereas for even a very toxic substance such as snake venom there is a dose below which there is no detectable toxic effect. Toxicity is species-specific, making cross-species analysis problematic. Newer paradigms and metrics are evolvin ...
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Toxicity
Toxicity is the degree to which a chemical substance or a particular mixture of substances can damage an organism. Toxicity can refer to the effect on a whole organism, such as an animal, bacterium, or plant, as well as the effect on a substructure of the organism, such as a cell ( cytotoxicity) or an organ such as the liver ( hepatotoxicity). By extension, the word may be metaphorically used to describe toxic effects on larger and more complex groups, such as the family unit or society at large. Sometimes the word is more or less synonymous with poisoning in everyday usage. A central concept of toxicology is that the effects of a toxicant are dose-dependent; even water can lead to water intoxication when taken in too high a dose, whereas for even a very toxic substance such as snake venom there is a dose below which there is no detectable toxic effect. Toxicity is species-specific, making cross-species analysis problematic. Newer paradigms and metrics are evolving to ...
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