Saturday, September 8, 2012


Anatoxin, oh how this alkaloid fascinates me. This toxin, derived from Anabaeno, a species of cyanobacteria, is commonly referred to as; the Very Fast Death Factor. Interesting, is it not? 
So, you may be wondering, where did this name come from?
Well, this toxin is native to the Murray River in Australia, and is described as looking like "a thick scum like green oil paint." This toxin emitted by this algae rendered a portion of the Murray river toxic to wildlife. Any animal who drunk from it, would become extremely ill, and die a horrible death. 
Why is this? Well, Anatoxin is a potent neurotoxin. It causes death my paralysis of it's victims. It basically mimics acetylcholine and binds the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. So basically, your sodium channels become locked open which causes over-stimulation thus causing fatigue and paralysis.