Summary: Toxicology

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Read the summary and the most important questions on Toxicology

  • Introduction to Toxicology (TOX 1)

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  • What happened during the antiquity?

    • There were already a lot of poisonous plants and animals. 
    • The first medical papyrus was written around 1500 BC in Egypt. This is called Ebers Papyrus. 
    • Hippocrates lived around 400 BC
    • The chalice of Socrates was poisoned with Hemlock. Hemlock contains alkaloids that block acetylcholine receptors and suffocation occurs.
  • What happened during the enlightment?

    • Percival Pott (1714-1788) discovered a relationship between soot and scrotum cancer. He developed occupational toxicology and prevention.
    • Mathieu Orfila (1787-1853) was the founder of modern toxicology, he did autopsies and analytical chemistry.
  • What happened during the renaissance?

    • Paracelsus (1493-1541), Luther of medicine, said: "everything is poisonous, only the dose makes something not being a poison." His points of departure were: experimenting is essential, there should be distinguished between poisonous and therapeutic properties but this is not always possible, and compounds may have specific effects.
  • What happened during the industrial revolution?

    Durning the industrial revolution there was a lot of occupational toxicology and environmental pollution.
  • What happened in the twentieth century?

    There was a lot of welfare (traveling - new diseases), scandals and disasters, and regulation.
  • How can toxic effects be classified?

    • Rate; acute or chronic
    • Possibility for repair; reversible or irreversible
    • Site of action. Local effect at site of first contact or systemic effect
  • Bacterial toxins (TOX 2)

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  • What are natural toxins?

    • Bacteria
    • Fungi
    • Algaea
    • Cyanobacteria
    • Animals
    • Plants
  • Why do plants produce toxins?

    To prevent being eaten.
  • What are the two reasons animals can make toxins?

    • Protection to predation (poisonous)
    • To attack (and kill) other animals (venomous)
  • What is the biggest difference between a food infection and a food poisoning?

    A food infection is caused by a microorganism, a food poisoning by a toxin.

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