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Why does the most poisonous fish need poison?

The most poisonous fish in the world is the so-called puffer fish. It’s liver and other parts of it’s body contain a substance called tetrodotoxin, which can paralyze the respiratory muscles of any living creature and lead to its death. Despite the dangers, many Asian chefs include it in their menu dishes with the addition of its non-toxic organs. True, for cooking, captive-grown individuals with a low content of poison in the body are used. By comparing the fish that grew up in captivity, scientists were able to find out why they needed poison.

Puffer fish is one of the most poisonous fish in the world, but dishes are still prepared from it.

The reduced amount of poison in the body of captive-grown puffer fish is explained by the fact that they do not produce it on their own, but receive it from bacteria living inside them. The bacteria that produce tetrodotoxin in large numbers live only in the natural habitat of puffer fish, so individuals grown in aquariums cannot boast a large amount of poison. It is believed that a reduced amount of toxins worsens the taste of “incubator” fish and also negatively affects their health.

The most dangerous poison in the world

The latter fact was proved by scientists from the Japanese universities of Kitasato and Nagasaki, who published the results of their research in a scientific journal. Toxicon. Researchers took two aquariums with puffer fish, one of which was supplemented with tetrodotoxin content over the course of a month. By comparing the health status of individuals from two different aquariums, they were able to find out how the toxic substance affects fish organisms and why they need it.

In the course of observations, scientists found that fish fed with tetrodotoxin content were 24% longer than the individuals from the second aquarium. It follows that the toxic substance contributes to the growth and proper development of puffer fish. It also turned out that fish with a sufficient level of tetrodotoxin have four times less cortisol, a hormone that promotes the development of stress. Therefore, a toxic substance is a means of protection against stress.

Tetrodotoxin is one of the most dangerous poisons in the world.

How exactly tetrodotoxin controls the growth of puffer fish and affects the level of their stress is unknown to researchers. It may well be that they will be able to answer this question in the course of other scientific works. As for the poor taste of captive-raised fish, maybe the meat loses its taste just because of increased stress. In addition, scientists noticed that puffer aquarium fish stand out with particular aggression and attack each other, causing wounds. This, too, may well impair the taste of their meat.

Whether the poison itself affects the taste of meat is unknown. Be that as it may, cooks completely clean the fish of poisonous parts of the body, so that tetrodotoxin is not contained in dishes. For cooking puffer fish dishes, restaurant employees undergo special training for at least three years. During this time, cooks learn to properly cut off the organs of the fish, the most dangerous of which is the liver.


As a rule, death due to poisoning with this poison occurs due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles, but scientists believe that with the right dosage, it can serve as an excellent analgesic with a lasting effect. It seems that in the future, an anesthetic based on puffer venom will actually appear – researchers from the Boston Children’s Hospital have figured out how to control its dose so that it does no harm.

Previously, medical professionals have already tried to use fugu venom to eliminate severe pain in leprosy and inoperable tumor diseases. They really managed to establish safe doses of the toxin so that it effectively eliminates pain and does not harm the body of patients, but because of the potential danger and the availability of analogues in the form of novocaine, its use was suspended.

Despite this, work on the creation of an anesthetic based on tetrodotoxin does not stop. Fugu venom is interesting because its molecules effectively clog nerve fibers and block their impulses – scientists can very well create a technology that controls its amount and provides a safe anesthetic effect lasting several days.

Tetrodotoxin turned into anesthetic

A major breakthrough in this matter was made by staff from the Boston Children’s Hospital, led by Professor Daniel Cohan. To control the rate of release of the poison to a specific point in the body, they mixed it with a biodegradable polymer, and subsequently controlled release times provided a long-lasting anesthetic effect. The experiment was conducted on laboratory rats.

The lesson we learned is that with our previous delivery systems, the anesthetic was spreading too quickly, which could lead to poisoning. This time we injected such an amount of tetrodotoxin that it would be enough to kill the rat several times, but thanks to the controlled introduction, the animal didn’t even feel it, ”Daniel Cohane shared.

Even though scientists used a rather large amount of poison, it was still less than in previous attempts. It was possible to maintain the effectiveness of the substance while reducing its dose due to the addition of a chemical penetration enhancer – tetrodotoxin penetrated the tissues more easily and acted as concentrated as possible.

Symptoms of tetrodotoxin poisoning

If, in the event of an error, tetrodotoxin enters the human body too quickly, it will immediately lead to poisoning and, most likely, to death. Symptoms occur within 10-15 minutes, and include itching, excessive salivation, vomiting, loss of skin sensitivity and, ultimately, paralysis of the respiratory system.

The first case of tetrodotoxin poisoning was recorded in 1774 – the case was described in the book Journey to the South Pole and Around the World by the English sailor James Cook. The poisoning occurred in New Caledonia when he and his companions tried a dish of local fish and felt severe weakness and numbness. Fortunately, they received a small dose of toxin and got better after vomiting, but the pig, who was given the rest of the dish, died.

Puffer fish dish

However, puffer fish meat is sold in some Japanese stores, which is extremely dangerous for inexperienced cooks. In 2018, an alarm was announced in the city of Gamagori, as in one supermarket they managed to sell fish meat without an extracted liver.

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Bizzare & Odd

10 shocking superpowers in humans

We do not know how to become invisible or fly without aids ,but still people are not so simple ,as it seems. Some of us are granted the amazing properties ,which could be described as superhuman, though not so obvious, like mutants from ‘X-Men.”

As expected, any such ability can be either a gift or a curse. Some of them can be ignored for many years, and they manifest themselves in different ways. Here are the top ten most shocking human abilities. Who knows, maybe you have one of them?

Super taste is one of the most widespread abilities, which to some extent possesses about a quarter of all people. Thanks to him, the taste of food becomes brighter several times, making sweet things sweeter, bitter – bitter , etc. In general, the super taste is manifested in women and residents of Asia, Africa and South America.

Golden Blood is Rh zero blood, the rarest in the world. Over the past half century, only forty people have been found with this type of blood, at the moment there are only nine alive. Rh-zero is suitable for absolutely everyone, since it does not contain any antigens in the Rh system, but its carriers can be saved only by the same “brother in golden blood”.

Supervision. Tetrachromacy is a rare combination of genes that allows only 2-3% of women around the world to see up to 100 million colors, when ordinary people see only 1 million.Primates, including humans, are trichromats, born with three types of cones in the eye (types are responsible for red , green and blue, RGB). Tetrachromats are born with four types of cones, which provide them with such amazing vision.

Hyperelastic skin. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a genetic disorder of the connective tissue that affects the joints and skin. Despite a number of serious complications, people with this ailment are able to painlessly bend their limbs at any angle. The image of the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is based in part on this syndrome.

Echolocation is one of the abilities that any person possesses to one degree or another. Blind people learn to use it to perfection, and this is largely the basis of the superhero Daredevil. You can test your skill by standing with your eyes closed in the center of the room and loudly clicking your tongue in different directions. If you are a master of echolocation, you can determine the distance to any object.

Eternal youth sounds much better than it really is. A mysterious illness dubbed “Syndrome X” prevents a person from any sign of growing up. A famous example is Brooke Megan Greenberg, who lived to be 20 years old and at the same time physically and mentally remained at the level of a two-year-old. There are only three known cases of this disease.

The insensitivity to pain exhibited by the superhero Kick-Ass is a real disease that prevents the body from feeling pain, heat, or cold. The ability is quite heroic, but thanks to it, a person can easily harm himself without realizing it and is forced to live very carefully.

Indestructible bones. There is an incredibly rare mutation called LRP5 that rewards a tiny percentage of humans with indestructible bones. It was first discovered when, during a terrible accident, one of the participants which was not injured at all. The disadvantages of LRP5 include an increased chance of getting liver disease.

Super Strength is one of the most popular abilities among superheroes, but one of the rarest in the real world. Mutations associated with a lack of myostatin protein lead to a significant increase in muscle mass in a person with no growth of adipose tissue. There are only two known cases of such defects among all people, and in one of them a two-year-old child has the body and strength of a bodybuilder.

Absolute Immunity is one of the most useful special abilities, providing protection against most deadly ailments, including cancer and heart disease. This mutation has no drawbacks, not counting the fact that an entire army of scientists is hunting for every person with absolute immunity.

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Londoners ordered to pack their emergency backpacks

The Wandsworth Council of South London tweeted an emergency warning urging people to plan for an emergency and pack useful items such as a flashlight, first aid kit, phone charger and whistle in their backpack. In comments to the news, the authorities said that the bag will come in handy “if you need to immediately run out of the house, not having time to pack.”

Hundreds of social media users immediately began to comment on this post. Many of them said they were worried about the warning, while others asked the question: why do we need to urgently run from home during the coronavirus pandemic?

One person writes, “Wow. What did I miss? Have we faced an imminent emergency evacuation due to a hurricane / flood / fire / meteorite strike / other? Or did you just decide to scare everyone for no apparent reason? “

Another person wrote that before making such announcements, the city council had to “take into account the concern that such an alert might cause in people.” The third person writes: “I am not very worried, it is useless, nevertheless, after reading the message from the city council, I decided that something happened.” Other Londoners criticized the wording and nature of the emergency warning, with one woman claiming she was “fed up with all the panics” that occur during the COVID-19 epidemic. She said the advice should have thought about people who experienced increased levels of anxiety or mental health problems during isolation before posting such a post.

Labor MP Tooting Rosena Allin-Khan agreed that the authorities did not offer any context for the message:

“We are working with our emergency planning team to send out daily tweets telling people how to prepare for different situations.”

However, due to a flaw in the city council or for some other reason, a certain panic arose in the city. Londoners were already worried about the news that new restrictions will be announced this week in connection with the pandemic, and suddenly against this backdrop, the city council publishes this:

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, commenting on the situation in front of Sky News on Monday night, said that he worked with local council leaders and public health experts to develop a plan to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the capital. According to him, the plan includes additional rules “to slow down the spread of the virus.” He also noted that he hopes the Prime Minister will invite him to an emergency COBRA meeting on Tuesday to “discuss in an adult way additional measures we can take to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

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Bizzare & Odd

Did Angels visit a farm in Slovenia after Jerusalem?

A few days ago, a UFO hovered over the city of Podkoren in Slovenia, the appearance of which was recorded on Google Earth maps. The famous Taiwanese ufologist Scott Waring suggested that it could be an angel, given its bright glow and peculiar shape.

On his YouTube channel, Waring posted a photo of an unidentified object that glowed very brightly. The ufologist examined a number of photographs in the same area at different times and made sure that there was nothing reflecting there, which means that it is quite possible that these were events of biblical significance.

The researcher stressed that the trees are not lit. Consequently, the object is well above them. Given the brightness of the glow, it is likely that we are talking not only about UFOs, but also about angels that can visit people living in this area.

He recalled that similar objects were recorded in Jerusalem above a stone dome. The Bible tells a similar story. The author emphasized that he is not a religious person, and the conducted research only confirms his theory.

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