Реферат: The Fine Art Of Making Poison Essay

, Research Paper

Ed Schantz and his apprentice, Eric Johnson, work in a

very strange field of science. They grow and Harvest the

worlds strongest poison. It is, in their words, ?six million

times stronger than rattlesnake venom.? The toxin is

produced by a single-celled bacteria called Botulinum. The

botilin poison produced by the bacteria causes a form of

food poisoning called botulism. Botilin shuts down nerve

pulses from the brain making the victim paralyzed. The

victims usually suffocate to death when their diaphragm

becomes paralyzed. However, Ed and Eric do not use the toxin

for morbid acts of terrorism; they use it to heal people

with muscular disorders.

Electric impulses from the brain cause muscles to

contract. The toxin attaches itself to the nerve endings and

cuts the flow of neurotransmitters, a nerve signal

transmitting chemicals. Some disorders, called dystonias,

send too many and or random impulses. Ed has learned that by

inserting the toxin in very small amounts into the nerves

these extra impulses will be cut off. The nerve endings will

be weakened for a few months until new nerve endings can

grow around the toxins.

In Schantz?s early years of toxin making, he met up

with a doctor named Alan Scott. Scott contacted Ed to see if

he could use botilin to cure Strabismus ,or cross-eye, a

disorder that acts like many dystonias. After testing the

process on monkeys, Ed was given an affirmation in 1978 by

the FDA to proceed with the treatment on humans. Scott also

learned to use the toxin as a cure for blepharospasm; or

excessive and uncontrollable blinking, which previously had

no cure.

Though the years the toxin?s range of use expanded.

Amazingly every dose of botilin ever given was taken from

the 1979 harvest of the bacteria. The process to make the

bacteria starts in their closet sized lab. They can grow the

bacteria in about three days. The bacteria is then dissolved

in a fluid and sulfuric acid is added. The toxin becomes

insoluble because of the acid and settles out. This process

is repeated in varying methods until the toxin is almost

pure. Finally, ammonium sulfate is added to make the toxin

crystallize into ?glasslike needles? that are pure botilin.

Ed and Eric relate the process to an art. If you are

just a little off in one of the steps, especially

crystallization, then you will not get the result you want,

pure crystals. They also will not use any of the modern or

automated techniques like columns or chemical reactors,

since they do not produce a toxin that is as pure as their

technique. Their technique could be improvised in a home

kitchen but maintaining the high toxicity and desired

properties of the toxin are what takes years of practice to


The 1979 batch of botilin that is being used for

medical treatment is expected to last for another five years

, but researchers that need the toxin to experiment on are

what keeps Ed and Eric in business. The toxin has been found

to help in many diseases including: multiple sclerosis,

cerebral palsy, and stuttering. The toxin is being used in

more and more cases than ever before, and the list is still

growing. Even the Food Research Institute is using the

bacteria to build up an immunity to botulism.

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