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New toxin detected in forest fire smoke: Alkaloids

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  • Teresa Binstock
    New toxin detected in forest fire smoke. By Michael Reilly Discovery Channel 1 May 2009
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2009
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      New toxin detected in forest fire smoke.
      <http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/04/30/forest-fire-toxin.html>
      By Michael Reilly Discovery Channel 1 May 2009

      Scientists have discovered a new class of chemicals emitted from burning
      pine trees. From a family of compounds known for their ability to alter
      human DNA, the findings could change the way we look at the impact of
      forest fires on public health.

      Alkaloids are commonly found in nature; plants produce them to help
      bolster the structure of leaves and pine needles, and they can be key
      nutrients to the right organisms. Many are prized for their beneficial
      effects on humans, while a select few, like morphine and caffeine are
      downright addictive.

      But in high enough doses, alkaloids can be potent toxins

      more... <http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/04/30/forest-fire-toxin.html>





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