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68313.  Wed May 03, 2006 6:35 am Reply with quote

A classic example that springs to mind is rhubarb and custard. The rhubarb has a toxin in it which is nulified by an enzyme in the dairy.

Hmm - my mental klaxons are going off here. I have frequently eaten rhubarb without custard, with no apparent ill-effect. It's true that rhubarb leaves are poisonous, but this sounds dubious to me.

gerontius grumpus
68802.  Sat May 06, 2006 6:09 pm Reply with quote

When I was little my mum used to give me a stick of rhubarb and an egg cup of sugar to dip it in as a sweet snack, at least that's what I thought.

gerontius grumpus
68803.  Sat May 06, 2006 6:15 pm Reply with quote

Th earlier talk about cyanide reminds me of when I went to see Tim Smitt give a talk on the lost gardens of Heligan.
He told us that hundres of frogs in one of the ornamental ponds had died overnight when a storm blew a lot of cherry laurel leaves into the pond. He said this was because cherry laurel leaves contain arsenic.

Oh dear he really should get his facts right if he's going to do a lot of public speaking and not get his poisons confused.

68808.  Sat May 06, 2006 7:05 pm Reply with quote

iron 3 thiosulphate injected is the antidote to hcn poisoning
went to a lecture on poisoning you see:)
it was really interesting, and i asked the lecturer what the antidote was after the lecture cos i realised he didnt mention it

lotsa love

68809.  Sat May 06, 2006 8:12 pm Reply with quote

Trouble with that, or one of them at least, is that the CN- will pass straight through the cell membranes as they're lipid and the thiosuphate will not enter cells so rapidly.

I suppose you're trying to mop up the CN- by converting it to thiocyanate.

A check confirms this.

The treatment against cyanide poisoning given to civilians is based on encouraging and speeding-up the body's own ability to excrete cyanide and to bind cyanide in the blood. The enzyme rhodanese is present in the body, mainly in the liver, and together with sulphur transforms cyanide into thiocyanate, which is passed out in the urine. By supplying sulphur in the form of sodium thiosulphate (Na2S2O3) the detoxification can be speeded up. The cyanide ion has high affinity to trivalent iron (Fe3+). The divalent iron in blood haemoglobin can be oxidized to trivalent, which leads to the formation of methaemoglobin which binds cyanide ions. The formation of methaemoglobin can be achieved by supplying sodium nitrite (NaNO2) or dimethylaminophenol (DMAP).

Cyanide can also be bound by metallic ions supplied to the blood in suitable form. Among others, cobalt can be supplied in the form of a cobalt complex or as hydroxycobalamin (vitamin B12).

In cases of poisoning with hydrogen cyanide it is of the utmost importance that countermeasures are immediately introduced. For this reason, a medical antidote (PAPP, para-aminopropiophenone) for use as a pretreatment is being developed in the United Kingdom.

Concentration (mg/m3) Effect
300..............................Immediately lethal
200..............................Lethal after 10 minutes
150..............................Lethal after 30 minutes
120-150........................Highly dangerous (fatal) after 30-60 min.
50-60...........................Endurable for 20 min. - 1 h without effect
20-40...........................Light symptoms after several hours

These are quantities in air. This equates to 3x10^-4 g/l which at 27g/M gives 1.11x10^-5 molar, say 12 micromolar if you can apply that to a gas mixture, for immediate lethality. There is no indication of absolute quantities but it is probably what would be known in scientific circles as not a fuck of a lot.

747697.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:33 am Reply with quote

The most obvious advantage of fast food is that it can save time. In today's fast-paced life, there is nothing better than having a ready-made meals. No matter how many praise the benefits of fresh food chef at the end of a hard working day, when a home all tired and hungry, pizza or a burger can be a godsend. In addition to personal time to spend in the kitchen, cooking, people need a supermarket to buy vegetables to make a trip to the composition. There is also the energy and time, washing and peeling vegetables in the food. All this makes the cook a meal in a busy fast food more preferably personal scores.

747719.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:43 am Reply with quote

Funny - suddenly the aroma of spiced pork and ham fills my nostrils. Potentially.

747725.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:48 am Reply with quote

I still very much doubt that fast food and ready meals (in particular) are that much faster. Generally speaking if I pass a fast food outlet on the way home I also pass a supermarket, and if I go shopping for a ready meal, I walk pass the fresh ingredients to get it*. Granted the fast food requires nothing further to be done to it but cram it in your maw, but the ready meal still needs to be heated or cooked and there're any number of quick and easy meals one can make from fresh ingredients in the time it takes an oven to heat.

*I don't do either fast food or ready meals, as it goes, but the point stands.

Spud McLaren
747766.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:22 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
The treatment used involved him taking peach stones anally on a regular basis, and while cyanide does indeed kill cancer cells it kills people as well.
Somewhat painfully, I'd imagine. Peach stones are rather rough.

Reminds me of the "Death or mau-mau" joke...

747806.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:44 pm Reply with quote

Well they are. Surprisingly enough, I've never actually tried sticking a peach stone up my bum, but it doesn't strike me as an especially comfortable procedure.

Mind you, Steve McQueen may never have inserted one there either. There are all sorts of claims about the rather unorthodox cancer treatment he underwent in Mexico, where his doctor was a struck-off orthodontist. Some say it was peach stones, some say it was apricot pits (which also contain hydrogen cyanide), some say it was hot coffee, some say it was shampoo.

If you had to have one of those things introduced into your anus, which would it be?

747809.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:50 pm Reply with quote

What kind of quantities are we talking about? A small squirt of shampoo wouldn't be much of an inconvenience but a couple of gallons may cause me to reconsider.

747810.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:55 pm Reply with quote

You'd smell like Starbucks everytime you farted for a few days if you used hot coffee!

747837.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:53 pm Reply with quote

According to, it is advisable not to introduce hot coffee into the lower intestine (Really? Somebody had to actually wonder about that?)

Spud McLaren
747848.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:12 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
If you had to have one of those things introduced into your anus, which would it be?
Well, it wouldn't be the bloody peach stone, that's for sure.

747852.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:18 pm Reply with quote

ďFast food: I donít know why they donít just flush it straight down the toilet, cut out the middle man. That would speed things up.Ē - Ben Elton


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