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Foods that you will never, ever convince me to try: Fugu

November 3, 2011

No.  I don’t care how much money you offer me.  I don’t care about high-minded principles that it’s good for you to try new things.  I won’t.

What brought this rant on?  In Cell Physiology class, we’re learning about how action potentials work.  To do that, we’ve been playing around with a simulated squid axon called Nerve.  Here’s what a normal action potential looks like in the program:

Now, here’s what happens when you add a 4nM concentration – yes, you got that right, that’s nanomolars – of tetrodotoxin into the solution:

Sorry, bud, you don’t get an action potential.

And just FYI, 4nM of tetrodotoxin is 0.00000127676 grams of per liter.  What this stuff does when it gets into your body is it blocks the sodium channels in your nerve cells so you can’t get action potentials.  You need action potentials to do things like breathe.

I think I’ll have the salad, thanks.

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