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Botulism (Clostridium botulinum)


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Latin for “sausage disease,” Botulism can unquestionably bring out the wurst in people. Reminder to practice safe food handling and a curious gag gift for the person with everything.


  • Botulism (Clostridium botulinum) Botulism (Clostridium botulinum) GMUS-PD-0095

    Out of stock

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Sizes Giantmicrobes are based on actual microbes, cells, organisms and other critters, only 1,000,000 times actual size!
Gigantic (GG) 16-24"
XL (XL) 10-15"
Original (PD) 5-8"
Keychain (KC) 2-4" with clip
Materials Plush from all new materials. Stuffed with polyester fiber fill. Surface washable: sponge with water & soap, air dry.
Packaging Each plush microbe includes a printed card with fun, educational and fascinating facts about the actual microbe or cell.
Safety Every product meets or exceeds U.S. and European standards for safety. For ages 3 and up.

All about Botulism (Clostridium botulinum)

Botulism, Latin for ‘sausage disease,’ was first recognized in 1735 as a form of food-poisoning in German sausages. It is caused by Clostridium botulinum, which produce a neurotoxin that is the most poisonous natural substance known (and has even been developed as a biological weapon).

Fortunately, C. botulinum is usually quietly domiciled in soil, streams, and lakes, and ventures into the food-chain only on occasion. It is typically found in canned foods where the bacteria propagate at their leisure, using their toxin to breakdown energy supplies.

Proper food preparation (i.e., heat) can destroy the toxin. But if it is not destroyed, even low doses can produce double-vision, difficulty breathing, and even paralysis. Infants are particularly susceptible to C. botulinum infection, as the internal flora and acidic content of their intestines is undeveloped. (Honey is a common transmission pathway for infants, and should be avoided.)

But C. botulinum has a helpful side as well. It turns out paralysis isn’t such a bad thing – if you’ve got wrinkles. Injecting minute quantities of botulinum toxin into facial muscles paralyzes them, and diminishes the appearance of aging lines.

Botulinum toxin also has a number of more serious medical uses. It can alleviate muscle spasms, chronic lower back pain, migraine headaches, crossed-eyes, and even excessive sweating!

So, while the sausage disease can unquestionably bring out the wurst in people, sometimes it is precisely what the doctor ordered.

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