Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Sitting down to eat a nice warm cup of soup on a chilly night sound very nice right? Well, you might want to think that over. Right now, in that soup can a bacterium could be growing. That bacterium is botulin, a very deadly substance that can kill you quite easily. One billionth of this substance can kill a human that is seven times more deadly than cobra venom. It produces botulism, well known to everyone, but no one seems to understand its severity.

Two females sit down to eat some tuna for lunch and chat. Later that night they both have blurred vision and difficulty swallowing. Their husbands say it is merely the flu and it will be gone in the morning. To their surprise one of them wakes up to his wife gasping for air. He immediately calls the emergency room. It is too late for her.

The hospital realizes it is Botulism and calls the friend that she ate with.

She too is gagging for breath. She is rushed into the emergency room. After being given all the antibodies she dies.

The hospital calls the FDA and gives them the number on the can. Six thousand cans were recalled. This made the tuna company bankrupt. Yet more lives were loss due the speed that botulism has.

Botulism is the most deadly of all food poisons. Botulism toxin is a protein, which is a chain of amino acids. It targets the nerve system disrupting neurotransmitter function, resulting in paralysis and death.

At first it is extremely slow because in the body the toxins are absorbed slowly by the intestines. After the toxins are absorbed it is a quick process. Toxins then go into the blood stream it is very swift.

Although the mode of entry of toxin may...