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Subject: Re: Aspartame/NutraSweet
From: (Jay Mann)
Date: Aug 01 1995

Rifle River ( wrote:
: Don't the Japanese also eat puffer fish which contains Tetrodotoxin, a
: potent blocker of sodium channels that prevents nerve impulse condution? 
: Every once in  a while you hear of a chef who lost his job after a person
: died from the improper perparation of puffer fish.  Apparently, the highest
: concentration of the stuff is found in the liver and the 'nads and these
: must be completely cut out of the fish to avoid death upon eating.

Yes, but they eat the fish because they get a chemical high from the toxin. 
There are underground clubs that eat repeatedly boiled puffer fish liver,
which ordinarily has a barely tolerable tetrodotoxin level, but sometimes
the club members don't survive.  Another aspect to tetrodotoxin is that its
victims become completely unable to move, heartbeat and respiration are
almost undetectable, and they are sometimes diagnosed as dead.  In several
cases, where cadavers couldn't be buried promptly for some reason or other,
the cadaver woke up and walked away; they usually report being completely
conscious and able to hear everything said around them.

Tetrodotoxin is the main ingredient in the zombification process in Haiti. 
You can imagine that after being buried alive, dug up after a few days,
immediately dosed with Datura extract, the victim doesn't have a great deal
of independent spirit left.

Jay D Mann  <>
Christchurch, New Zealand

Subject: Re: Awareness under anaesthesia
From: (Jay Mann)
Date: Nov 05 1995

Rachael Rosen ( wrote:
: Can anybody please suggest the best newsgroup for asking if anyone's
: experienced awareness (consciousness) during surgical anaesthesia ?
: I can't see anything particularly specific to anaesthetics around here
: - any helpful suggestions ?

Although not used as sole anesthetic agent any longer, curare used to be 
employed to stop patients from squirming around during the surgery.  
Unfortunately it turned out to stop movement, not consciousness.

There are two natural toxins that both block the sodium channel in the 
nervous system (whatever that is). These are tetrodotoxin (puffer fish, 
Japanese fuyu, toads) and paralytic shellfish toxin (from shellfish that 
have fed on blooms of certain algae).  Victims are completely paralyzed, 
not even able to blink, and heart beat is apparently so slow as to be 
indetectable.  But many victims recover spontaneously or after being kept 
alive with artificial respiration.  In Japan, reportedly, "dead" people 
thought to have died from eating fuyu must by law be kept unburied for 
two days, to give them a chance.  In Canada, two victims of paralytic 
shellfish toxin were saved when their mates called in a helicopter by 
cell-phone; they said they could hear their friends discussing whether it 
was really worth continuing CPR since there had been no response at all, 
yet were totally unable to respond even with a twitch. 

Jay D Mann  <>
Christchurch, New Zealand

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