The branch of biology, chemistry, and medicine concerned with the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms.

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25
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5answers
590 views

Are there any substance that are more dangerous at low dose than at higher dose?

It is commonly admitted that The dose makes the poison which means as a person, the more I take a substance, the more risk I take for my health. There is even an indicator called LD50 (see ...
23
votes
7answers
4k views

Is there anything that is completely non-toxic to humans at any dose?

Lately I have seen a number of unrelated "scientific" debates over whether certain substances should be outlawed because they are toxic to humans. My initial, informal reaction is usually to respond ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

How does the human body metabolize gasoline?

A Chinese man has been drinking gasoline to relieve his pain for 25 years. How does the human body metabolize gasoline? Also, what are the side-affects to gasoline?
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is hydrofluoric acid so dangerous if it is a weak acid?

I've read that hydrofluoric acid (HF) is extremely dangerous to touch, but what exactly makes it so toxic? It's weak acid ($K_a = 7.2 \times 10^{–4}$) and dissociates approximately 1/1000 as much as ...
10
votes
2answers
233 views

Why is venom more common in fish and snakes than other vertebrates?

Reading this question, I wondered why is it that we associate vertebrate venoms so often with snakes and fish, and more rarely with lizards, amphibians, mammals, and birds (apparently never, in ...
9
votes
1answer
59 views

Why doesn't Clopyralid damage cool season lawn grasses?

I use Clopyralid (3,6-dichloro-2-pyridinecarboxilic acid) to kill broad leaved weeds in lawns. From my understanding, it works by mimicking an auxin which affects plant growth. Naturally this pulls ...
9
votes
1answer
283 views

Grapefruits and CYP3A4

Grapefruit juice contains furanocoumarins, which irreversibly inhibit CYP3A4. For this reason, when one is taking certain medications it is necessary to not eat grapefruits because the inhibition of ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

What's the worst that can happen from eating too many spicy peppers? Can you die?

Some peppers, such as the habanero or Carolina reaper are extremely spicy, and when eaten in larger amounts than one is accustomed to, can cause some discomfort. I've also heard anecdotes claiming ...
8
votes
1answer
87 views

How does Halosulfuron-methyl kill nutsedge, while leaving lawn grass and most weeds undamaged?

I use Halosulfuron-methyl to control yellow and purple nutsedge in lawns. This chemical acts by interfering with the acetolactate synthase enzyme, which quickly slows cell division, and growth at all ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Is nicotine toxic to humans?

More specifically, is nicotine in the concentrations that smokers receive when smoking cigarettes toxic? I know that in great enough concentrations it can be toxic (but then, so can just about ...
7
votes
1answer
403 views

Does THC excretion increase if urine volume increases?

In regards to the body metabolizing and excreting THC: if urination is increased as a result of drinking lots of fluids, does that mean that more THC is leaving the body? To rephrase the question, is ...
6
votes
1answer
369 views

Influence of alcohol on brain cells

As I am not related to biology, I would appreciate if you can keep your answers as simple as possible. My question is about the influence of alcohol on the brain. As far as I know, drinking alcohol ...
6
votes
1answer
177 views

Is fluoride toxic, and how worried should I be about it?

A recent flurry of "fluoride is bad!" posts are appearing on my social network news feeds. Usually I can simply ignore them after a brief look, but this one, stemming from a recent article in The ...
6
votes
1answer
56 views

Why doesn't Fenoxaprop-P-ethyl damage cool season lawns?

For controlling bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon, a serious perennial grassy lawn weed in my area, I use the herbicide Fenoxaprop-P-ethyl. It kills the bermudagrass rather well, without damaging the ...
6
votes
1answer
74 views

How does MSMA kill crabgrass with only minimal damage to lawn grasses?

I use MSMA (Monosodium methyl arsenate) to kill crabgrass in lawns. I am not certain of the mode of action. How does this chemical work? How does it target the annual grassy weeds, without ...
5
votes
2answers
150 views

Can botulinum toxin be grown or kept from denaturing in an UNWRAPPED 50 pound hay bale?

Botulinum toxin is the neurotoxin protein created when botulism spores grow. The requirements for growth and/or for keeping the toxin from denaturing would seem to be very difficult to create in bale ...
5
votes
1answer
830 views

Is it possible for a substance to be absorbed by the hair or the scalp?

I've heard that the aplication of Monovin A in the hair would allow it to grow faster. Monovin A seems to be only A vitamin, according to the first website. Could the application of A vitamin in the ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Does cooking or ripening reduce the concentration of solanine in nightshade?

I recall a story from one of my Botany professors where he encountered a woman picking Solanum dulcamara (nightshade) berries. When he asked her what she was doing with them, she responded that her ...
5
votes
1answer
56 views

Is funnel web spider venom poisonous?

Does the venom of the Sydney funnel web spider have to be injected into the bloodstream to have an effect? If the venom was swallowed (e.g. if a spider was eaten), would it still have an effect? Or ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

How do rodenticides with delayed effect work?

Most modern rodenticides are claimed to cause death no earlier than several days after ingestion. That's quite strange - once a chemical was ingested it will be absorbed in the digestive system and ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

In which way would the yeast cell cope with the excess amount of methionine in the growth media?

I guess that when there is surplus of methionine in the cell it is incorporated in the TCA cycle as a succinyl CoA, with cysteine as a by-product. But now the cell has the surplus of cysteine. What ...
4
votes
2answers
842 views

Is pork poisonous?

Besides religious prohibition, there are several non-religious arguments against eating pork. A few of which are: Pigs and swine are so poisonous that you can hardly kill them with strychnine or ...
4
votes
1answer
762 views

Why is funnel web spider venom so lethal to humans and not so much for other mammals?

According to the information from this article, People and other primates are exquisitely sensitive to funnel web venom but, intriguingly, other mammals such as mice, rabbits, guineapigs, dogs ...
4
votes
2answers
350 views

Are there dangers to Teflon and aluminium cookware?

I've been reading some articles on the internet about dangers of Teflon and aluminium to the body. My family say I'm just exaggerating the situation, and maybe I am, though I'm not sure because not ...
4
votes
1answer
56 views

What happens when someone is stung by a jellyfish?

What happens in the human body when someone is stung by a jellyfish; namely a box jelly. Judging by what I have heard about the stings I'm guessing that they involve a neurotoxin. But what is ...
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Blood consumption

Is consumption of blood more "dangerous" compared to meat? There was a news-article about unnatural chemicals found in the blood of mothers. This reminded me about a question I have pondered upon ...
4
votes
2answers
854 views

Why is Botulinum toxin the most potent poison known?

Botulinum toxin (trade name Botox) inhibits acetylcholine release in neurons and causes botulism, an acute paralytic disease which leads to nerve degeneration and takes a long time to recover. I've ...
4
votes
1answer
438 views

How does toluene inhalation damage the brain?

We just had a discussion about toluene abuse. It is known, that people inhaling toluene for a long time have significant brain damage, including decreased intelligence. I found that toluene is a ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Poisonous plants, animals, mushrooms: is this always a kind of defense?

I wonder whether developing deadly toxins in the organism's body is always or usually a defensive strategy rather than a by-product.
3
votes
3answers
205 views

What Defines a Food as Edible?

With many foods today containing chemicals, agents and preservatives etc... What biological criteria must a new food and its constituent components satisfy biologically, to be defined as edible? ...
3
votes
1answer
34 views

What are the mechanistics of stinging nettles?

There is a lot of research on why nettle extracts causes skin irritation and a stinging sensation. However, I cannot find information on how the extract is injected in human skin. Similarly, I haven't ...
3
votes
1answer
203 views

Are there any air-plants with parts that are edible for humans?

Are any air plants (Tillansia sp.) safe for humans to eat? I haven't been able to find whether or not there are. Pineapple is in the same family (Bromeliaceae), but isn't an air plant.
3
votes
1answer
67 views

How can a plant resist glyphosate (Roundup) herbicide?

In my area, the most common weeds that strongly resists (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine) (glyphosate) are the horseweed, or mare's tail, Conyza canadensis, and Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense There are ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

copper vs aluminum, what's the safest for health?

I'm working on a mini project for a milk dispenser machine, using a peltier device to cool the milk down, I have to choose between a copper or aluminum cooling block (see pictures bellow). But I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
27 views

How does Trifluralin kill newly germinating seeds, with almost no effects on established ones?

Trifluralin (2,6-Dinitro-N,N-dipropyl-4-(trifluoromethyl)aniline) is a pre-emergent herbicide used in landscape beds before the application of mulch (my use for it, anyway). It kills the weeds as they ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Why are particulate matter toxic to humans?

There are many studies on fine particles (PM2.5) and their fully negative effect on human health. There doesn't seem to have any positive aspect of inhaling particles, except very particular ones, but ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

What happens if someone with mutations to alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) drinks alcohol?

ethanol then doesn't get converted to acetaldehyde. in fact, could someone KO'ed for ADH be resistant to methanol poisoning?
2
votes
2answers
88 views

Why are bacteria immune to snake poisons?

In a test I was asked why bacteria are insensitive to snake toxins. Is it their membrane that provides a barrier to the toxins? Or do snake poisons have specific targets and thus cannot bind to ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Why is gastric lavage considered to be helpful only if a patient comes to a hospital within 1 hour of a toxic ingestion?

Why is gastric lavage considered to be helpful only if a patient comes to a hospital within 1 hour of a toxic ingestion? How severe would the effects be if a patient came to the hospital after the ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

How can a plant become resistant to glufosinate?

From Wikipedia, the mode of action of the non selective herbicide Glufosinate is: Phosphinothricin is an glutamine synthetase inhibitor that binds to the glutamate site. Glufosinate-treated plants ...
2
votes
1answer
251 views

What is LD50 for 25i (25I-NBOMe)?

Firstly I would like to apologise if this is not correct place to ask this question, as it can be seen more as chemistry and not biology question. I was looking around for data on psychedelic ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

How does Isoxaben kill newly germinating seeds, with almost no effects on established ones?

Isoxaben (N-[3-(1-ethyl-1-methylpropyl)-1,2-oxazol-5-yl]-2,6-dimethoxybenzamide) is a pre-emergent herbicide used in landscape beds before the application of mulch (my use for it, anyway). It kills ...
2
votes
1answer
196 views

Why is cyanide poisonous?

I know cyanide inhibits complex IV in the electron transport chain, but I don't understand why this makes it so toxic. If cyanide is bound to the complex, can't the electrons just bypass it and ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

What are the biochemical interactions between human body and Polyethylene?

Our waterways and oceans are showing increased levels of plastic contamination. These plastics are breaking down into smaller pieces. When one goes to the beach and plays in the surf they often ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

Isoprene and Acrolein emissions of wood burning, insect burning and smoldering tobacco cigarette [closed]

I'd like to identify what makes a fume more or less toxic, above all those from commonly smoked organic stuff: tobacco, cannabis, comparatively to less common ones. For that, we can focus on 2 gas ...
2
votes
0answers
150 views

MTT assay normalization

Since the precise amount of cells in each well of an MTT assay varies, how can I normalize the results by cell number/concentration? How can I take into account the number of cells that have already ...
2
votes
0answers
18 views

Gliotoxin ingestion and actions needed [closed]

what are the "next day" actions that one has to take, when accidentally ingests contaminated drink/food from Aspergillus or Penicillium or Candida fungus? Is it feasible to take N-acetyl-L-cysteine ...
2
votes
0answers
106 views

Can Squirrels Eat Every Mushroom? [closed]

Squirrels have the ability to eat toxic mushrooms as described below. Are there any mushrooms that they can't eat without dying? According to Dr. John Rippon, an IMA member and world expert on ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

What is this vinca like vine?

What is this vinca like vine? Is it poisonous? 62521 USA Illinois
1
vote
1answer
464 views

Why doesn't the herbicide 2,4-D damage lawn grass?

I sometimes use 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid to control broadleaved weeds in lawns. It is selective, and quickly kills the dicot weeds, while other plants are unharmed. 2,4-D is a synthetic ...