Saturday, October 19, 2013

PopSci Headline: "New, Incurable Botulinum Strain..."

... just last week, a team of scientists discovered a new type of the toxin, as well as a new strain of the bacterium that makes it, Clostridium botulinum. 
Yet because the toxin type is new, scientists have not yet discovered an antidote to it, so they've restricted how much information they're publishing about it. They're withholding the DNA sequence that codes for for the toxin, out of fear that terrorists could use that information to make a potent bioweapon. ... 
... Two scientists from the California Department of Public Health discovered the new botulinum toxin and bacterium in fecal samples taken from a baby who had botulism, the disease that results from exposure to the toxin. Babies are more susceptible to botulism, which they can get from eating improperly canned vegetables or honey contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores. The California pair published their work in two papers in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 
(H/t Instapundit)

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