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Old 04-25-2006, 06:25 PM   #28
Jae Onasi
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Originally Posted by machievelli
Actually, if there was a war since the Sumerians, I have studied someo of it, especially weapons and their designs. One thing that suddenly came to me was something everyone here might have missed...
1. The survivor from the last station was a Rodian. Rodians were not listed as being affected.
2. Do you know what a Binary toxin is?
3. I myself didn't think of it until afterward, but I have to have a for real target. Stay tuned for the chapter following the next post.
1. You could always say that they're susceptible to psychotropic chemicals in a way that is similar to x species. So instead of one portion of the megamolecule affecting just Twi'leks, you could say it affects "Twi'leks and Rodians" also. I'm always up for the easiest solution.

2. Binary toxin--I didn't know what they were before I just read through some journal articles just now, though I knew there were different types of toxins. The article I linked here probably has one of the better descriptions of just which part of the cell is involved and which chemicals are affected but it's pretty technical. Binary Bacterial Toxins

EDIT I'm going to try and explain it in Real People language. While I understand we scientist types need to use the correct terminology and I expect there to be a considerable number of "Big Words," we sure need to learn how to make scientific articles more readable and eschew obfuscation. Some of these articles are written with some really awkward sentence constructions. Sheesh.

(begin Toxins 101)
1. Basically, toxins are chemicals, usually proteins, that can do 1 of 2 things. 1. affect the tissues around specific cells so that the bacteria can spread farther in and 2. (more commonly) invade a specific type of cell and cause damage to it, causing it to die. The most common are hemotoxins and neurotoxins, but there are others, including the binary toxins as you asked about.

For lack of a better explanation at the moment, hemotoxins break open blood cells and/or damage the parts of blood that cause proper clotting. Without enough working blood cells, the tissues and body can't get enough oxygen. If you kill off enough red blood cells, there's not enough oxygen circulating for the body to survive. If the platelets (the clotting cells) don't work, the blood can't clot, and people can bleed to death from fairly small injuries.

Neurotoxins (and other cell-specific toxins) usually affect some specific part of the outside of the cell that changes what happens inside the cells. There are a lot of different parts that make up the outside of the cell, or cell membrane. It's not all uniform. If some of these parts of the cell membrane are damaged, the cell can die or stop functioning correctly. For instance, there are pores (or channels) in the cell membrane that let in calcium ions or sodium ions. These pores open and close to let in just the right amount of ions to do their job. A nerve cell has to have one amount of ions in order to stay at its resting state and another to actually 'fire', or send a signal. If you upset the balance of ions, the nerve cell will either not fire at all or will continue firing endlessly. Some neurotoxins make the ion pores stay stuck in the open position, and some will make the pores stay closed, and this makes the nerve not work correctly, and in some cases the toxin simply causes the nerve to die. If the nerves don't work correctly, nasty things start happening to the body.

Edit: For instance, if the nerve cell that makes a muscle contract can't fire, the muscle won't work and paralysis happens. If that same nerve cell is stuck constantly firing, then that muscle spasms and can't relax. If this happens, say, in the diaphragm, you can't breathe if either happens, because it has to both contract and relax in order for you to breathe.
Usually, toxins affect only one structure in a cell membrane.

Binary toxins work a little differently. The bacteria that produce binary toxins are producing two separate components to affect a cell, instead of one like the toxins above. The first component (which they call component B) attaches to the cell membranes. Once attached, it changes shape and creates a pore or channel through the membrane. The second component (called component A) attaches to the pore, goes through it, and then ends up inside the cell where it does its damage. Different binary toxins affect different structures or chemicals inside the cells.

The bacteria that produce binary toxins are nasty ones, like the botulism and anthrax germs.

Originally Posted by machievelli
Good! Now if only these kids will ask before they field a 2000 man 'squad!'
Hubby hated the idea of Jedi "Generals" leading small squads. "Generals don't lead squads! They lead divisions and armies!"

From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Last edited by Jae Onasi; 04-25-2006 at 10:55 PM. Reason: clarifying a couple items
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