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Toxicology. April 24, 2007

Posted by thebigswede in Uncategorized.

“What is there that is not a poison? All things are poison and nothing is without poison. Solely the dose determines that a thing is not a poison.”

Paracelsus (1493-1541)

Poisons, hmm. Hundreds of millions of people world wide poison themselves every day. While nicotine and ethanol are the most culturally excepted forms of recreational poisoning, I’ll bet you can name many famous examples in fiction and history. Romeo and Juliet. Socrates. Jim Jones and Jonestown. I could name many more. Studying poisons for me this term has been nothing short of fascinating. We get down to the nitty-gritty, to the core of why foreign molecules harm our bodies in the spectacularly diverse ways that they do.

In lab today I got chosen to be the one person to examine human adrenal cortex cells, while the rest got stuck with liver cancer cells from rats. Sorry guys, there can only be one star of the class, better luck next time. Over competitive? No way, I’m just pre-med. The experiment is examining the role of B-naphthoflavone as an inducer of Cytochrome P-450 activity (CYP1A1) in cells, as well as eventual inhibition by ellipticin. Guess what? They have no idea if it will work in human adrenal cortex cells! Haha! Novel and exciting research; I’ll let you know how the results turn out. On the bright side as well we don’t have to kill any animals at the end of this study, like all our previous labs. Ahh biology, its good to be back.



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