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Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions

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BRIEF: How is Ricin different than Elapid snake venom?


QUESTION:
How is Ricin different than Elapid snake venom?

ANSWER:

Ricin is a two-part lectin that binds to and enters living cells, disrupting their protein-making mechanisms and thereby killing the cell. One molecule can kill one cell-pretty damned efficient... Elapid (mamba, cobra, coral snakes, etc.) venoms are complex mixtures, which include many substances, to most noteworthy of which are toxic phospholipase A2, acetylcholinesterase, RNAases, DNAases and nonenzyme neurotoxins and toxins of unkown mechanisms of various kinds.