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Sunday, June 09, 2013

There's A Little Bit Of Chemist In Each Of Us

According to the FBI, the toxic poison Ricin is easily available to Elvis impersonators and soap opera actresses.

In Wikipedia:
Ricin is easily purified from castor oil manufacturing waste. The aqueous phase left over from the oil extraction process is called waste mash. It would contain about 5–10% ricin by weight, but heating during the oil extraction process denatures the protein, making the resultant seed cake safe for use as animal feed. Ricin can be isolated from fresh seed by chromatographic techniques similar to those routinely used for purification of many other plant proteins.
It is those chromatographic techniques that make it so easy for the Elvis impersonators. The actresses tend to use the waste mash.


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