tetrodotoxin

noun
te·​tro·​do·​tox·​in | \ te-ˌtrō-də-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce tetrodotoxin (audio) \

Definition of tetrodotoxin

: a neurotoxin C11H17N3O8 found especially in puffer fish that blocks nerve conduction by suppressing permeability of the nerve fiber to sodium ions

Examples of tetrodotoxin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some populations of this common amphibian are covered in a deadly neurotoxin—a compound called tetrodotoxin (TTX) that causes paralysis and is also found in most species of pufferfish as well as the notorious blue-ringed octopus. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Toxic Newts Use Bacteria to Become Deadly Prey," 23 Apr. 2020 Pufferfishes, for example, get their tetrodotoxin from a marine bacterium. National Geographic, "What’s the difference between a poisonous and venomous animal?," 7 Jan. 2020 The tetrodotoxin is up to 1,200 times more poisonous than that of cyanide, and can cause deadening of the tongue and lips, dizziness, vomiting, arrhythmia, difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis, and, if left untreated, death. Daniel Jameson, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 10 Most Dangerous Animals in the World—And Where to Find Them," 19 Sep. 2019 Japanese, or tiger, puffers (Takifugu rubripes) don’t make their own tetrodotoxin (TTX), but instead accumulate it in their muscles, organs, and skin from TTX-making bacteria in their diet. Jake Buehler, Science | AAAS, "Deadly pufferfish poison relieves stress in deadly pufferfish," 8 Nov. 2019 Their saliva contains the potent nerve toxin tetrodotoxin, the same compound that makes California newts, harlequin frogs, and fugu pufferfish liver so deadly. Eric Scigliano, National Geographic, "Is it wrong to keep octopuses in captivity?," 15 Oct. 2019 But tetrodotoxin in the right amounts can relieve pain by blocking the sodium channels that conduct pain messages, the hospital said in a statement. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Children’s researchers look to puffer fish as source of possible replacement for opioids," 12 June 2019 But the fish’s skin, intestines, ovaries, and liver contain the poison tetrodotoxin, which is 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide. Joseph Hincks, Time, "A Japanese City Activated its Emergency Warning System to Stop Residents Eating Poisonous Pufferfish," 16 Jan. 2018 Too much tetrodotoxin from a puffer fish can kill a person. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Children’s researchers look to puffer fish as source of possible replacement for opioids," 12 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tetrodotoxin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tetrodotoxin

1911, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tetrodotoxin

International Scientific Vocabulary tetrodo- (from New Latin Tetrodon, genus of tropical marine fishes) + toxin

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Time Traveler for tetrodotoxin

Time Traveler

The first known use of tetrodotoxin was in 1911

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Cite this Entry

“Tetrodotoxin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tetrodotoxin. Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for tetrodotoxin

tetrodotoxin

noun
te·​tro·​do·​tox·​in | \ te-ˌtrōd-ə-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce tetrodotoxin (audio) \

Medical Definition of tetrodotoxin

: a neurotoxin C11H17N3O8 that is found especially in pufferfishes and that blocks nerve conduction by suppressing permeability of the nerve fiber to sodium ions

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