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Deadly mushroom toxin exposed

Researchers have isolated and identified a muscle-destroying compound

A toadstool toxin that spurs convulsions, nausea, impaired speech and muscle stiffness — and has led to several deaths in Japan in recent years — has been isolated and identified by a team of scientists. The small molecule is familiar to synthetic chemists but had never been isolated from a natural source, researchers report online May 24 in Nature Chemical Biology.

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