Hot answers tagged

19

In suffocation or asphyxiation you are actually deprived of breathing oxygen. As a result, the arterial blood oxygen concentration decreases (hypoxemia) which is detected by the chemoreceptors of the carotid body and aortic arch. This induces a neuronal response in the medulla that increases the respiratory rate. Simply put, you get panicked. Prolonged ...


16

Short answer Many snake poisons target specific proteins not present in unicellular organisms. Background The question is admittedly broad but the idea behind this question is pretty much what you indicate in your post - many venoms target specific proteins and do not simply destroy their target by, e.g., disrupting gross cellular structure (like alcohol ...


9

The chlorine concentration in pools is +- 0,5 mg/L. + 0.002 mg/L will fatally damage the sensitive skin on tadpoles, frogs, salamanders and other amphibians. another source: Free chlorine (Cl2) is a greenish gas that is well known for its highly toxic properties as can be attested to by the thousands of soldiers that died and were severely ...


7

"Cyanide" doesn't refer to just one compound, but given the lethal dose you mention of "half a gram" you are probably referring to potassium cyanide, with a molecular weight of about 65g/mol, so 0.5 gram is about $10^{22}$ molecules. Potassium cyanide becomes hydrogen cyanide in the stomach, and hydrogen cyanide is the gas (at body temperature) that causes ...


6

I think you are both confused about terminology, and asking a very broad question. An organism that produces venom is venomous. Poison is not venomous, the black mamba is venomous. Venom is not venomous. According to the Wikipedia article on venom, Venom is a form of toxin secreted by an animal for the purpose of causing harm to another. A toxin is a ...


6

Venoms from vipers contain high amount of proteolytic enzymes (serine proteases). Many of them act by cleaving fibrinogen and thereby causing blood clot (ref). There is a likelihood that some of these proteases may affect other proteins also. In a study conducted by Bottrall et al. (2010), it was shown that snake venoms do have a general proteolytic activity....


6

I'm not a doctor, so I'm not 100% sure about the physiological differences, but on a molecular level there is one: Cyanide blocks the complex IV of the oxidative phosphorlytaion, which will directly stop cells from consuming oxygen and producing energy needed to survive. This is mechanistically different from suffocation, where there is not enough oxygen in ...


5

There is a lot to say on this question. I will try to keep it short, to the risk of oversimplifying the problem. I can think of three main reasons: 1. Predation does not necessarily means death of the prey Most of predation does not directly kill the prey. Typically herbivory, will often damage the prey but a single individual won't kill the prey entirely. ...


5

Ah, that would be the spiny orb weaver. You can see an almost exact same picture here. To make a guess on the species, its maybe Gasteracantha cancriformis as its said in that webpage I have tagged. They are generally harmless. Here's the wikipedia page.


5

Scorpions are immune to their own venom (reference) as has been said in some studies as well (reference) But some other studies and eye witness accounts have referred to the contrary. in an experiment a scorpion, Bulteus australis, was killed by an injection of the same venom as its own (reference). So, it should be safe to say that there is a very low ...


4

Transcytosis is a process by which large macromolecules are transported across a cell, such as those in the intestinal epithelium. It is used by many toxins and even whole organisms to enter the body. Botulinum toxin also apparently uses this mechanism. I'm not sure how detailed of an answer you want, but the linked to-review is pretty in-depth.


4

Simply touching bullets couldn't give you lead poisoning, since nowadays bullets are usually coated in a protective copper shell. What makes bullets dangerous isn't the actual bullet but the way lead is expelled from it upon shooting. When a bullet is fired, it gets so hot that that lead actually vaporizes. ~Sarah Zhang http://www.motherjones.com/...


4

Insects absolutely can metabolize poisons. This is because plants are absolutely chock-full of them, precisely to avoid insect predation, and in return many insects have developed immunities to many of these poisons. Or as this paper "DETOXIFICATION OF PLANT TOXINS BY INSECTS", which looks like it would be the answer to your question if it were free to read ...


4

TL;DR No, it won't die. Lizards/snakes are usually immune to their own venom. Since I couldn't find a good answer to this recurring question on this site, I will try to summarize it here. I found more research on snakes than on lizards, but for now we will just assume that similar mechanisms can be found in lizards. First, the question is how the venom ...


4

Although "Virus" literally means "Poison" in Latin, it would be a great over-simplification to regard a Virus as a Poison. Now, most poisons are chemical compounds that interfere in some chemical pathway in our body. For example: Carbon Monoxide: Binds with Haemoglobin, rendering it unable to transport oxygen Sarin: Indirectly inhibits ...


4

Let's tackle your second question first. Yes, leafless poison ivy still contains Urushiol, and still can give you a rash. Here are three sources supporting this statement: a first-aid sales company, a newspaper, and a non-peer reviewed infosheet from a university. Be careful with poison ivy all year. Your first question has slightly more nuanced ...


3

This is common sea buckthorn, Hippophae rhamnoides. The blueish leaves and the orange berries are unmistakable. It occurs mainly in coastal regions, but is also cultivated throughout the world. The berries are processed to all kinds of food. In their natural habitat in Northwestern Europe, the berries serve as a food source for migrating birds that fly from ...


3

The blister beetle genus Meloe, also known as oil beetles, secrete an oily substance containing a poison called cantharadin which causes blistering and swelling of the skin. Source: http://statebystategardening.com/state.php/articles/do_not_touch_these_backyard_bugs


3

This is a really great question. To take a specific example, let's consider Amanita phalloides, the death cap mushroom. It doesn't advertise its poison; in fact, it resembles several edible species of mushrooms, including Caesar's mushroom and the straw mushroom. It contains alpha-amanitin, an extremely potent poison that inhibits RNA polymerase, shutting ...


3

This is unambiguously a female Araneus, and judging from coloration pattern of the legs and ventrum — very likely the common cross spider Araneus diadematus: see ventral view photos, or some other very similar species. A better photo of the specimen from the dorsal side and some information on the location would be very helpful. And no, these spiders ...


3

The toxin is Meliatoxin, in a class of toxins called tetranortriterpenes. I found this here. Bold emphasis mine. https://wagwalking.com/condition/chinaberry-tree-poisoning What is Chinaberry Poisoning? The chinaberry tree is a member of the mahogany family that is native to Australia, China, and India. These deciduous trees sprout delicate light purple ...


3

If any living thing consumes enough of a poison it will die. But I feel that is not what you want to ask. Perhaps you meant to ask if a snake will die if it drinks its own venom? That would make more sense as a question. In English, venom and poison mean different things when talking about a toxic chemical produced by an animal. Poison is a toxic chemical ...


2

It's a tiny baby cockroach. Sorry. http://animalia-life.club/other/german-cockroach-nymph.html I looked up your chemicals; the first (metofluthrin) is mosquito repellant and the others are for fleas and mosquitoes. The combo makes me think that this is something intended for spraying on the body or on animals. It is not strong enough. You need to get ...


2

Excess copper in the body can be toxic but I'm not sure a copper blade would be especially toxic unless it was coated with something else or it remained in the wound. Copper can be acutely toxic when ingested, or chronically over a long period of exposure (like lead), but is more often associated with a failure in copper excretion. Since the body has ways of ...


2

I would like to add a bit to Chris' answer. While it is true that the underlying mechanism of the long lasting effects of nerve gas has not been established, several hypotheses exist (reworded from Jokanovic et al, 2010): Long lasting effects could be derived from withdrawal of nerve gas after repeated low-level exposure or acute exposure. This means that ...


2

Most of the nerve agents (and quite a number of commercially used pesticides) fall into the class of organophosphates (OP). Their mechanism of action is the inhibition of the acetylcholin esterase which leads to the build-up of acetylcholine in the body and thus a permanent activation of mucarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Irreversible ...


2

Features of a rotting insect carcass What you see after an insect dies is its chitinous exoskeleton. It is a tough biomaterial that takes time to decompose, given its structure, and few microbes can digest it, let alone as quickly as soft tissue. It's a little bit like human bones. The insect's inner soft parts will degrade quickly, just as with any dead, ...


1

Unlikely that you have a mercury problem. I have had about 6 mercury thermometers broken in my house over a few years ( the places I kept them were not safe from a housekeeper).I don't know if she did anything to clean up; I except only sweep up broken glass. These were laboratory thermometers ,so typically over 12 in. long. No cats but dogs, no symptoms yet....


1

Most of this type of evolutionary question are generally worthless, IMHO. You can rationalize anything post hoc and then go away with the misapprehension that you have been involved in science. To add a few of those possible post hoc explanations (which took longer to type out than think up): 1) The poison is only accidentally a poison. It serves some ...


1

I know nothing about this subject, except that I can recognize edible and poisonous fungi, to the extent that it concerns me in a practical sense. However, as I have access to a range of journals through my university I thought I would see if there was anything ‘out there’ on the topic. A recent paper entitled Amanita phalloides poisoning: Mechanisms of ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible