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The envenomation of general physiology throughout the last century.

Abstract

Toxins are the poisonous products of organisms. Toxins serve vital defensive and offensive functions for those that harbor them: stinging scorpions, pesticidal plants, sanguinary snakes, fearless frogs, sliming snails, noxious newts, and smarting spiders. For physiologists, toxins are integral chemical tools that hijack life's fundamental processes with remarkable molecular specificity. Our understanding of electrophysiological phenomena has been transformed time and time again with the help of some terrifying toxins. For this reason, studies of toxin mechanism are an important and enduring facet of The Journal of General Physiology (JGP). This Milestone in Physiology reflects on toxins studied in JGP over its first 100 years, what they have taught us, and what they have yet to reveal.

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