Scientists discover type of Botox that is among deadliest substances in the world

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Scientists discover deadly new form of Botox. (Thinkstock)
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Scientists discover deadly new form of Botox. (Thinkstock)

Scientists have discovered a new type of Botox -- the deadliest substance known -- according to a report from New Scientist.

Seeking to keep the substance out of the hands of nefarious Dr. Evil-types, the scientists have deliberately withheld its DNA sequence in their findings, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. This is apparently the first time a DNA sequence has been kept secret for security reasons.

And make no mistake, this stuff is very dangerous. The New Scientist reports that "injecting a mere 2 billionths of a gram, or inhaling 13 billionths of a gram, of the protein botulinum produced by the soil bacterium Clostridium botulinum will kill an adult."

How does it work? New Scientist explains that the toxin blocks the release of acetylcholine, a chemical secreted by nerves that makes muscles work. Those who accidentally ingest the substance can die of paralysis.

Until this discovery, there were seven known families of botulinum, named A to G.

The scientific team "sequenced the bacterial DNA that codes for the toxin, and found it constitutes a separate branch on the botulinum family tree," New Scientist explains.

As yet, it cannot be neutralized by available treatments.

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