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This image depicts a bean necklace that included the small, red beans from the Jequirity plant, or Crab's eye plant, Abrus precatorius. Even though these beans are toxic, containing a toxic plant protein known as abrin, a toxalbumin, they are still widely used as jewelry ornaments, and in percussive musical instruments. The dimer abrin, is composed of two protein subunits, A and B. Working as a chemical team, B enables the molecule ingress into the cell, while once inside, the A subunit inhibits the process of protein synthesis. With symptoms identical to those produced by ricin, though many times more toxic, abrin symptoms include nausea and vomiting, convulsions, followed by liver failure and death, which will take place after several days.
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Content Providers(s):CDC/ Frank L. Bryan, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Creation Date:1966
Photo Credit:
CDC Organization
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Copyright Restrictions:None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.