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D. A Deadly Poison Put to Good Medical Use

Narrator: This is Science Today. The bacteria that produces the poison that accumulates in improperly canned foods and causes deadly food poisoning known as botulism, has found a favorable spot in medical science. Dr. Richard Glogau, a dermatologist at the University of California, San Francisco, says when greatly diluted and purified, this deadly bacteria is an amazingly useful drug called Botox.

Glogau: It's turned out to be fabulously effective for a great variety of medical conditions, many of which heretofore have had no effective therapy at all. So it's definitely a molecule for the new Millennium.

Narrator: Botox was first used in dermatology to treat wrinkles in the upper face by paralyzing the muscles that cause lines to form.

Glogau: That's how it made it's primary entrance into the specialty and from there, it's turned out to be useful for other things like uncontrolled sweating and treatment of headache, chronic nerve pains of certain types like shingles. And we're just beginning to find out some of the other things it can do.

Narrator: Botox will soon receive FDA approval for cosmetic use. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.