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Ricin

Castor beans

The protein ricin (pronounced rye-sin) is a poison manufactured from the castor bean (Ricinus communis). Its name comes from the seed's resemblance to the tick. Ricin can be extracted from castor beans and is known to have an average lethal dose in humans of 0.2 milligrams (1/5,000th of a gram), though some sources give higher figures [1]. It is considered to be twice as deadly as cobra venom.

Toxicity and manufacture

Ricin is poisonous if inhaled, injected, or ingested, acting as a toxin by the inhibition of protein synthesis. There is no known antidote; only symptomatic and supportive treatment is available. Long term organ damage is likely in survivors. In small doses, such as the typical dose contained in a measure of castor oil, ricin causes digestive tract cramps. Ingested in larger doses, ricin causes severe diarrhea and victims can die of shock. (See abrin).

Although the castor bean plant has long been noted for its toxicity, ricin was first isolated and named in 1888 by Hermann Stillmark. Modern feed-making techniques break down the ricin in castor beans by heating at 140 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, although some studies suggest that residual toxic effects may linger. Although one seed contains enough ricin to kill an adult human, they may pass harmlessly through the digestive system if swallowed whole. [2]. Typically 2.5–20 raw seeds can kill an adult human; 4 a rabbit, 5 a sheep, 6 an ox, 6 a horse, 7 a pig, 11 a dog, but 80 for cocks and ducks.[3]

Ricin consists of two distinct protein chains (almost 30kDa each) that are linked to each other by disulfide bond:

  • Ricin A is toxic to the cell by interfering with Ribosomes, responsible for protein synthesis
  • Ricin B is important in assisting ricin A's entry into a cell by binding with a cell surface component.

Many plants such as barley have the A chain but not the B chain. Since people do not get sick from eating large amounts of such products, ricin A is of extremely low toxicity if and only if the B chain is not present.

Ricin is easily purified from castor-oil manufacturing waste. The seed-pulp left over from pressing for castor oil contains on average about 5% by weight of ricin. Since 0.2 mg of purified Ricin constitutes a fatal dose, this is a considerable amount of ricin.

As little as one castor bean, about 0.5 grams, may be fatal in a child.

In the United states, a person caught manufacturing or possessing ricin may be sentenced up to 30 years in prison.

Potential medicinal use

Ricin may have therapeutic use in the treatment of cancer. Ricin could be linked to a monoclonal antibody to target malignant cells recognized by the antibody. Genetic modification of ricin is believed to be possible to lessen its toxicity to humans, but not to the cancer cells. A promising approach is also to use the non-toxic B subunit as a vehicle for delivering antigens into cells thus greatly increasing their immunogenicity. Use of ricin as an adjuvant has potential implications for developing mucosal vaccines

Use as a chemical/biological warfare agent

The United States investigated ricin for its military potential during the First World War. At that time it was being considered for use either as a toxic dust or coated bullets and shrapnel. The dust cloud concept could not be adequately developed, and researchers believed the coated bullet/shrapnel concept was unethical. The War ended before it was weaponized.

During the Second World War the United States and Canada undertook studying ricin in cluster bombs. Though there were plans for mass production and several field trials with different bomblet concepts, the end conclusion was that it was no more economical than using phosgene. This conclusion was based on comparison of the final weapons rather than ricin's toxicity (LD50 <30 mg.min.m–3). Ricin was given the military symbol W.

The best-known documented use of ricin as an agent of biological warfare was by the Soviet Union's KGB during the Cold War. In 1978, the Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was assassinated by Bulgarian secret police who surreptitiously 'shot' him on a London street with a modified umbrella using compressed gas to fire a tiny pellet contaminated with ricin into his leg. He died in hospital a few days later; the pellet was discovered by chance during an autopsy and the poison linked back to the KGB. Earlier, Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn also suffered (but survived) ricin-like symptoms after a 1971 encounter with KGB agents (D.M. Thomas, Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life, 368-378).

Despite ricin's extreme toxicity and utility as an agent of chemical/biological warfare, it is extremely difficult to limit the production of the toxin. Under both the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, ricin is listed as a schedule 1 controlled substance. Despite this, more than 1 million metric tonnes of castor beans are processed each year, and approximately 5% of the total is rendered into a waste containing high concentrations of ricin toxin [4].

In August of 2002, US officials asserted that the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Islam tested ricin, along with other chemical and biological agents, in northern Iraq.

To put ricin used as weapon into perspective, it is worth noting that as a biological weapon or chemical weapon, ricin may be considered as not very powerful, if only in comparison with other poisons such as botulinum or anthrax. Hence, a military willing to use biological weapons and having advanced resources would rather use either of the latter instead. Ricin is easy to produce, but is not as practical nor likely to cause as high casualities as other agents. Ricin denatures (ie, the protein changes structure and becomes less dangerous) much more readily than anthrax spores, which may remain lethal for decades. (Jan van Aken, an expert on biological weapons explained in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel that he judges it rather reassuring that Al Qaeda experimented with ricin as it suggests their inability to produce botulin or anthrax.)

Pure ricin could be dispersed through the air, however it would tend to be oxidized and rendered harmless by ozone, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants in a matter of hours. Since it acts as an enzyme, catalyzing destruction of ribosomes, even a single oxidation is likely to render the ricin molecule harmless. Presumably it could be sealed inside some sort of dust particle that would dissolve in water, but this would be difficult.

The major reason it is dangerous is that there is no specific antidote, and that it is very easy to obtain (the castor bean plant is a common ornamental, and can be grown at home without any special care). Ricin is actually several orders of magnitude less toxic than botulinum or tetanus toxins, but those are more difficult to obtain.

Ricin patent

"Preparation of Toxic Ricin",
patent application.

The process for creating ricin is well-known, in part because a patent was granted for it in 1952. The inventors named in US Patent 3,060,165 (granted October 23, 1962) "Preparation of Toxic Ricin", assigned to the U.S. Secretary of the Army, are Harry L. Craig, O.H. Alderks, Alsoph H. Corwin, Sally H. Dieke, and Charlotte Karel.

The patent was removed from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database sometime in 2004, but is still available online through international patent databases.

Ricin extraction process

The extraction of ricin from castor beans is very similar to the prepartion of soy protein isolates. Modern extraction plants might use membrane filtration to make highly purified ricin isolates

Ricin is initially extracted from defatted castor beans by aquous extraction at pH 3.8 to yield a leachate containing solubilized ricin. The leachate is filtered to remove insoluble matter and the crude ricin then precipitated by the addition of a 12% solution of sodium sulfate with a pH of 7.0-8.0. After precipitation, the crude ricin cake is washed with a 16.7% solution of sodium sulfate to remove extranious nitrogenous substances. The precipitated ricin may be reextracted once to further purify it.

The final ricin precipitate is dried and then purified by floatation in carbon tetrachloride. An aerosol powder may be prepared by spray drying or air grinding the purified ricin using cold air.

Ricin-related arrests in Britain in 2003

It was widely reported in the media that traces of ricin were detected by British police in a flat in Wood Green, North London after a raid on a suspected ring of terrorists on 5 January 2003. Media reports stated that a group was suspected of intending to use the poison in an attack on the London Underground. However at the trial of Kamel Bourgass in 2005 it became apparent that within a few days of the raid the leader of the Biological Weapon Identification Group at the Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory had concluded that ricin was not present at Wood Green [5] [6]. Some acetone, 22 castor beans, and poor recipes for ricin and other poisons copied from the Internet were found. It appears that an individual conducting amateur research on poisons was found in this raid.

A little later several arrests were made in France and a bottle of something that tested positive for ricin was found. Further analysis identified the material as ground wheat germ. The analytic confusion was caused by the similarity of many plant proteins to one of the ricin components, which suggests that higher quality (better specificity and sensitivity) analytic tests for ricin are needed.

Six more suspects were arrested in Bournemouth in England in connection with the investigation into the alleged ricin incident in London. They were not convicted of any poisons related crime.

Three more suspects were arrested in Manchester in England in connection with the investigation of the alleged ricin found in London, following a raid carried out pursuant to an investigation into immigration issues. A Special Branch policeman, DC Stephen Oake, was fatally stabbed during the arrests, and three other officers were also injured, one seriously.

On January 20, 2003 Finsbury Park mosque was raided by police, apparently as part of the investigation into the alleged discovery of ricin in Wood Green. A number of men who were apparently living at the mosque were arrested.

On February 5, 2003, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented those arrested as the "UK Poison Cell" of a global terrorist network in making the case for military intervention in Iraq to the UN Security Council [7].

In April 2005 31-year-old Kamel Bourgass was jailed for 17 years after being convicted of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance "by the use of poisons and explosives to cause disruption, fear or injury". He was also jailed for life following a conviction for murdering the Special Branch policeman who went to arrest him. All others accused in connection with the Wood Green flat were acquitted on all counts.

Ricin in Washington, D.C.

Ricin was detected in the mail at the White House in Washington, D.C. in November of 2003. The letter containing it was intercepted at a mail handling facility off the grounds of the White House, and it never reached its intended destination. The letter contained a fine powdery substance that later tested positive for ricin. Investigators said it was low potency and was not considered a health risk. This information was not made public until February 3, 2004, when preliminary tests showed the presence of ricin in an office mailroom of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's office. There were no signs that anyone who was near the contaminated area developed any medical problems. Several Senate office buildings were closed as a precaution.

Ricin in popular culture

Ricin was the poison used in the Agatha Christie Tommy and Tuppence whodunnit The House of Lurking Death in a 1929 collection of short stories called Partners in Crime.

Ricin was used as the poison of choice of the murderer in the 1962 comedy film Kill or Cure.

Ricin was mentioned in the "call me the prankster" comic at toothpaste for dinner

The Penn and Teller book How To Play With Your Food (ISBN 0679743111) includes a "gimmicks envelope" of small objects related to the tricks inside the book. One of these is a sticker reading "With all-natural ricin!". The book explains that ricin is a poison.


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The book explains that ricin is a poison. The Black Cat is also a feline-themed thief, although she eventually reformed (but still commits the occasional theft) and became Spider-Man's partner and lover for a time. One of these is a sticker reading "With all-natural ricin!". Marvel Comics' Black Cat, as initially seen in The Amazing Spider-Man, was originally intended to be a homage to Catwoman, although she eventually developed in a much different direction. The Penn and Teller book How To Play With Your Food (ISBN 0679743111) includes a "gimmicks envelope" of small objects related to the tricks inside the book. One of the recurring villains in the cartoon Xiaolin Showdown was called "Kat-nappe," and was similar to Catwoman in appearance. Ricin was mentioned in the "call me the prankster" comic at toothpaste for dinner. Another blond Catwoman, her costume and history appeared to be based on the Batman Returns version of the character.

Ricin was used as the poison of choice of the murderer in the 1962 comedy film Kill or Cure. Catwoman was portrayed by Maggie Baird. Ricin was the poison used in the Agatha Christie Tommy and Tuppence whodunnit The House of Lurking Death in a 1929 collection of short stories called Partners in Crime. Selina Kyle appeared briefly (and was killed off) in the first episode of the short-lived 2002 television series Birds of Prey, which featured Catwoman's daughter by Batman, the Huntress. Several Senate office buildings were closed as a precaution. In the TV movie Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt, Julia Rose appeared as Catwoman and the young Julie Newmar. There were no signs that anyone who was near the contaminated area developed any medical problems. Halle Berry won the 2005 Razzie award for worst actress in a film for her role as Catwoman, and collected it in person; only the second Razzie 'winner' to have done so.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's office. The movie became a box-office failure, and was panned by critics & fans alike. This information was not made public until February 3, 2004, when preliminary tests showed the presence of ricin in an office mailroom of U.S. In addition, the original "Catwoman" outfit that Patience wears when she robs a jewelry store is patterned after the "Catwoman" outfit worn by Eartha Kitt in the 1960s "Batman" tv series. Investigators said it was low potency and was not considered a health risk. Ophelia Powers then throws photos of previous catwomen down to her, and one can clearly see a picture of Michelle Pfeiffer's "Batman Returns" version of the character, which hints that either there is some link between Patience Phillips and Selina Kyle, or that it was done as a means of paying homage to the original character. The letter contained a fine powdery substance that later tested positive for ricin. In the scene where Patience is told of the history of the Catwomen, she is pushed off the balcony and lands in the living room floor.

The letter containing it was intercepted at a mail handling facility off the grounds of the White House, and it never reached its intended destination. The film was heavily criticized by both film critics and fans of the comic book character and was a failure in the box office, losing the producers far more money than it earned. in November of 2003. Though Phillips has the same skills as the villain version of Catwoman, the film's story has nothing to do with Batman (who isn't mentioned during the film). Ricin was detected in the mail at the White House in Washington, D.C. The movie alludes to other women in the past who have been granted such cat- like abilities. All others accused in connection with the Wood Green flat were acquitted on all counts. Patience had gained the powers from the goddess Bastet, through a gathering of cats lead by an Egyptian Mau.

He was also jailed for life following a conviction for murdering the Special Branch policeman who went to arrest him. This film's Catwoman bore nearly no resemblance to the comic version, besides sharing the name "Catwoman." In the film, Berry played Patience Phillips, a woman who eventually became Catwoman, a hero with supernatural cat-like powers, after a near death experience. In April 2005 31-year-old Kamel Bourgass was jailed for 17 years after being convicted of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance "by the use of poisons and explosives to cause disruption, fear or injury". In 2004, Catwoman, a movie, starring Halle Berry as Catwoman. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented those arrested as the "UK Poison Cell" of a global terrorist network in making the case for military intervention in Iraq to the UN Security Council [7]. While many viewers and critics enjoyed the richness and complexity of the character, not to mention the way Pfeiffer looked and acted in the heavy makeup and the shiny black costume, fans of the original comic books disliked the notorious alterations and considered not only the character but the entire film to be more Tim Burton than Batman. On February 5, 2003, U.S. you've kind of a dark side, don't you?", to which she answers, "Not darker than yours, Bruce"), and this relationship seems to be Selina's only grip on sanity as her mental state seems to deteriorate (along with her costume, which is actually a metaphor of her) throughout the movie - now unrepressed thanks to her nightly alter-ego, the rage and resentment of her dark side are actually starting to destroy her.

A number of men who were apparently living at the mosque were arrested. behind the Cat"), just as Bruce Wayne finds a reflection of himself in Selina ("You.. On January 20, 2003 Finsbury Park mosque was raided by police, apparently as part of the investigation into the alleged discovery of ricin in Wood Green. the woman.. A Special Branch policeman, DC Stephen Oake, was fatally stabbed during the arrests, and three other officers were also injured, one seriously. Accordingly with the film's interest in the schizophrenic aspects of its characters, Catwoman finds a reflection of herself in Batman ("Who are you?", she asks him, "Who's the man behind the Bat? Maybe you can help me find.. Three more suspects were arrested in Manchester in England in connection with the investigation of the alleged ricin found in London, following a raid carried out pursuant to an investigation into immigration issues. She is at the same time a feminist version of Batman, defending meek damsels in distress - exactly what she was at the beginning of the film, and probably during most of her life - but insulting them for being so, and a terrorist of sorts, blowing up an entire floor of Shreck's department store and ultimately seeking to kill him.

They were not convicted of any poisons related crime. Mysteriously given new life by alley cats (in a memorable Burton-esque scene) after her corrupt boss apparently kills her, her repressed rage and sexuality - and, as one could argue, some sort of mystic feline influence as well - create Catwoman, an extreme version of everything she was never allowed - by both society and herself - to be: a loveable rogue, a sexual predator and a powerful woman. Six more suspects were arrested in Bournemouth in England in connection with the investigation into the alleged ricin incident in London. Behind this cartoonish and rather stereotypical character, however, lies a shattered soul filled with frustration and self-loathing who only needs - and quite literally gets - a little push to break into insanity. The analytic confusion was caused by the similarity of many plant proteins to one of the ricin components, which suggests that higher quality (better specificity and sensitivity) analytic tests for ricin are needed. As recreated by Daniel Waters and Tim Burton, Selina Kyle is a beautiful but shy and clumsy young woman who always says the wrong thing, thinks aloud, frequently insults herself and works as the harassed secretary of evil tycoon Max Shreck. Further analysis identified the material as ground wheat germ. Catwoman was played by Michelle Pfeiffer in the 1992 movie Batman Returns.

A little later several arrests were made in France and a bottle of something that tested positive for ricin was found. Catwoman was voiced by a different actress, Gina Gershon, in the 2000s series The Batman. It appears that an individual conducting amateur research on poisons was found in this raid. Whether her hair was dyed or her natural color was never made clear. Some acetone, 22 castor beans, and poor recipes for ricin and other poisons copied from the Internet were found. In the second series, however, she appears to have shorter black hair. However at the trial of Kamel Bourgass in 2005 it became apparent that within a few days of the raid the leader of the Biological Weapon Identification Group at the Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory had concluded that ricin was not present at Wood Green [5] [6]. In the first animated series Selina/Catwoman had blonde hair, coinciding with the release of Batman Returns, in which she was played by blonde actress Michelle Pfeiffer.

Media reports stated that a group was suspected of intending to use the poison in an attack on the London Underground. Barbeau also voiced Catwoman in the 2000s online animated series Gotham Girls. It was widely reported in the media that traces of ricin were detected by British police in a flat in Wood Green, North London after a raid on a suspected ring of terrorists on 5 January 2003. She was voiced by Adrienne Barbeau in 1992's Batman: The Animated Series, and its revamp in The New Batman Adventures. An aerosol powder may be prepared by spray drying or air grinding the purified ricin using cold air. She appeared on the Batman cartoon of the 1970s ("The New Adventures of Batman") wearing an all-new outfit that has never been seen outside that series. The final ricin precipitate is dried and then purified by floatation in carbon tetrachloride. She appeared in the Batman cartoon of the 1960s (on the "Superman/Aquaman Hour") wearing the green costume she wore during that time.

The precipitated ricin may be reextracted once to further purify it. Catwoman has been a major character in almost all of Batman's animated series. After precipitation, the crude ricin cake is washed with a 16.7% solution of sodium sulfate to remove extranious nitrogenous substances. Cassandra," the next to last episode of the series. The leachate is filtered to remove insoluble matter and the crude ricin then precipitated by the addition of a 12% solution of sodium sulfate with a pH of 7.0-8.0. An uncredited fourth woman played Catwoman as part of a villain team-up in "The Entrancing Dr. Ricin is initially extracted from defatted castor beans by aquous extraction at pH 3.8 to yield a leachate containing solubilized ricin. Lee Meriwether portrayed her in the 1966 "Batman" motion picture, based on the television series, when Newmar was unavailable.

Modern extraction plants might use membrane filtration to make highly purified ricin isolates. Catwoman was at various times played by Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt in the live-action Batman television series of the 1960s, her first other-media portrayal. The extraction of ricin from castor beans is very similar to the prepartion of soy protein isolates. She does not make an appearence in Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again. The patent was removed from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database sometime in 2004, but is still available online through international patent databases. Note that The Dark Knight Returns does not hold continuty with most of the newer Batman or Justice League comics as it was written in the 80's and that Catwoman's profesion in it was most likely based on her profession in Frank Miller's earlier work Batman: Year One. Dieke, and Charlotte Karel. She finally appears at Batman's funeral where she yells at Clark Kent that she knows who killed Batman.

Corwin, Sally H. She warns him that the Joker is worse than ever, he kisses her and then leaves to follow the clue the Joker left. Alderks, Alsoph H. He then apparently beats her, dresses her up in a Wonder Woman-esque outfit, ties her up, gags her and leaves her where Batman finds her later. Craig, O.H. I'm lonely," second later on as an apparent prostitute whom the Joker uses to (after subjecting her to a mind control drug) gain acess to the governor through one of her girls. Secretary of the Army, are Harry L. Catwoman appeared briefly in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, first early on as a phone message "Bruce, Selina.

The inventors named in US Patent 3,060,165 (granted October 23, 1962) "Preparation of Toxic Ricin", assigned to the U.S. [3]. The process for creating ricin is well-known, in part because a patent was granted for it in 1952. The writer then revealed that the reason for Selina's retirement is that she's pregnant. Ricin is actually several orders of magnitude less toxic than botulinum or tetanus toxins, but those are more difficult to obtain. Selina is so smooth and polished; it's fun to write about someone who's a little rougher, a little sloppier." [2]. The major reason it is dangerous is that there is no specific antidote, and that it is very easy to obtain (the castor bean plant is a common ornamental, and can be grown at home without any special care). She's also going to handle her duties of protecting the East End in a completely different way than Selina, which so far has been very interesting to write.

Presumably it could be sealed inside some sort of dust particle that would dissolve in water, but this would be difficult. She's had training, and she's been on the mean streets, but she's going to make some mistakes. Since it acts as an enzyme, catalyzing destruction of ribosomes, even a single oxidation is likely to render the ricin molecule harmless. Writer Will Pfeifer has stated on the new Catwoman, "Without revealing any identities, the new Catwoman is someone with less experience than Selina Kyle -- though she's not completely inexperienced, and she's been part of that shadowy world Catwoman inhabits for years. Pure ricin could be dispersed through the air, however it would tend to be oxidized and rendered harmless by ozone, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants in a matter of hours. In the new year, Selina Kyle has been forced to leave the East End and is no longer Catwoman, and someone new has replaced her. (Jan van Aken, an expert on biological weapons explained in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel that he judges it rather reassuring that Al Qaeda experimented with ricin as it suggests their inability to produce botulin or anthrax.). After Infinite Crisis #7, the DC Universe will jump forward one year in time.

Ricin denatures (ie, the protein changes structure and becomes less dangerous) much more readily than anthrax spores, which may remain lethal for decades. Afterwards, she was seen covering her bed with past versions of her Catwoman costume. Ricin is easy to produce, but is not as practical nor likely to cause as high casualities as other agents. Catwoman's response to this revelation was unequivocal: she pitched Zatanna out a window. Hence, a military willing to use biological weapons and having advanced resources would rather use either of the latter instead. Light and Batman. To put ricin used as weapon into perspective, it is worth noting that as a biological weapon or chemical weapon, ricin may be considered as not very powerful, if only in comparison with other poisons such as botulinum or anthrax. Zatanna gave no reason for her actions, but in flashback it was shown that she had acted with the consent and aid of five of the seven JLA members who had helped her mindwipe Dr.

In August of 2002, US officials asserted that the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Islam tested ricin, along with other chemical and biological agents, in northern Iraq. Zatanna proceeded to explain to Catwoman that she had magically tampered with Catwoman's mind, forcibly turning her from villain to hero. Despite this, more than 1 million metric tonnes of castor beans are processed each year, and approximately 5% of the total is rendered into a waste containing high concentrations of ricin toxin [4]. After she was done, Zatanna appeared at her side, informing her that she had some "bad news", hinting at an important revelation about her past. Under both the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, ricin is listed as a schedule 1 controlled substance. Capitalizing upon the advantage which her "resurrection" provided her (the villains believing she had somehow managed to cheat death), Catwoman dismantled the new East End cadre of criminals, one villain at time. Despite ricin's extreme toxicity and utility as an agent of chemical/biological warfare, it is extremely difficult to limit the production of the toxin. The man impersonated her, and allowed several villains to shoot and dismember him, giving the impression to the underworld that Catwoman was really dead (like Clayface, the man was able to survive what would otherwise be fatal wounds).

Thomas, Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century in His Life, 368-378). Selina made a deal with a former criminal who had powers similar to Clayface's, who had promised to help her in exchange for his freedom. Earlier, Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn also suffered (but survived) ricin-like symptoms after a 1971 encounter with KGB agents (D.M. While her initial intentions were unclear, Selina shared her plans to infiltrate and destroy the cadre of East End villains with Batman. He died in hospital a few days later; the pellet was discovered by chance during an autopsy and the poison linked back to the KGB. At the start of the recent storyline ("The One You Love"), an influx of supervillains seized control of the East End, leaving Selina with no choice but to join the new incarnation of the Secret Society. In 1978, the Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was assassinated by Bulgarian secret police who surreptitiously 'shot' him on a London street with a modified umbrella using compressed gas to fire a tiny pellet contaminated with ricin into his leg. Selina had no inkling that any villains had been mindwiped until Batman informed her of the events of Identity Crisis, and he now worries that her reformation may be due to mental manipulation.

The best-known documented use of ricin as an agent of biological warfare was by the Soviet Union's KGB during the Cold War. However, it is now unclear if her reformation was the result of a mindwipe by Zatanna, a procedure known to deeply affect and, in at least one case, physically incapacitate its victims. Ricin was given the military symbol W. Catwoman appears to be completely reformed, and her love for Batman true (although brash and unpredictable). This conclusion was based on comparison of the final weapons rather than ricin's toxicity (LD50 <30 mg.min.m–3). In response to Batman's inquiry about her wounds, Selina departed the Batcave after curtly informing Batman that he had already "done enough.". Though there were plans for mass production and several field trials with different bomblet concepts, the end conclusion was that it was no more economical than using phosgene. However, this was something of a hollow victory, since all recognized that Despero was able to pit the JLA members against one another by drawing upon pre-existing animosities and distrust.

During the Second World War the United States and Canada undertook studying ricin in cluster bombs. After a fierce struggle, Despero was subdued. The War ended before it was weaponized. When Despero and a faction of brainwashed League members infiltrated the cave and succeeded in brainwashing Batman, Catwoman was able to send a distress call out to the unaffected League members. The dust cloud concept could not be adequately developed, and researchers believed the coated bullet/shrapnel concept was unethical. Wounded, she was taken to the Batcave to recover. At that time it was being considered for use either as a toxic dust or coated bullets and shrapnel. Recently in the JLA story arc Crisis of Conscience, Catwoman further proved herself an ally when she fought alongside Batman and the League against the old Secret Society, of which she had once briefly been a member.

The United States investigated ricin for its military potential during the First World War. At the end, Catwoman broke off their relationship when Batman believed that it had been influenced by the villain Hush. Use of ricin as an adjuvant has potential implications for developing mucosal vaccines. During the Hush storyline in Batman #608-#619, Batman and Catwoman briefly worked together and had a short affair, during the course of which Batman revealed his true identity to her. A promising approach is also to use the non-toxic B subunit as a vehicle for delivering antigens into cells thus greatly increasing their immunogenicity. This series met with critical and fan acclaim, especially for its first 25 issues. Genetic modification of ricin is believed to be possible to lessen its toxicity to humans, but not to the cancer cells. In this series, Selina Kyle, joined by new supporting cast members Holly and Slam Bradley (a character from the early Golden Age DC Comics), became protector of the residents of Gotham’s East End, while still carrying out an ambitious career as a cat burglar.

Ricin could be linked to a monoclonal antibody to target malignant cells recognized by the antibody. This storyline led in to the newest Catwoman series in late 2001 (written by Brubaker initially with Cooke, later joined by artist Cameron Stewart). Ricin may have therapeutic use in the treatment of cancer. In a backup storyline Trail of the Catwoman, by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Darwyn Cooke, the reader followed private detective Slam Bradley's attempts to find out what really happened to Selina Kyle. In the United states, a person caught manufacturing or possessing ricin may be sentenced up to 30 years in prison. Catwoman then appeared in a series of backup stories in Detective Comics #759 to #762. As little as one castor bean, about 0.5 grams, may be fatal in a child. Soon afterwards she disappeared and was thought killed by the assassin Deathstroke the Terminator, ending her series at #94.

Since 0.2 mg of purified Ricin constitutes a fatal dose, this is a considerable amount of ricin. Although later cleared, she displayed increasingly erratic behavior throughout the story. The seed-pulp left over from pressing for castor oil contains on average about 5% by weight of ricin. When later that year during the Officer Down storyline in the Batman titles, Catwoman was initially the chief suspect. Ricin is easily purified from castor-oil manufacturing waste. Harleen Quinzel (the supervillain Harley Quinn), became mentally unbalanced. Since people do not get sick from eating large amounts of such products, ricin A is of extremely low toxicity if and only if the B chain is not present.. While in prison, she escaped, and under the influence of Dr.

Many plants such as barley have the A chain but not the B chain. However immediately following that, she was arrested by Commissioner Gordon and put on trial, followed by being sentenced to imprisonment. Ricin consists of two distinct protein chains (almost 30kDa each) that are linked to each other by disulfide bond:. As Catwoman, Kyle assisted Batman against Lex Luthor in the reconstruction of the city. Typically 2.5–20 raw seeds can kill an adult human; 4 a rabbit, 5 a sheep, 6 an ox, 6 a horse, 7 a pig, 11 a dog, but 80 for cocks and ducks.[3]. Selina then returned to Gotham, which at this time was in the midst of the No Man's Land storyline. [2]. However, her plans were ruined when the supervillain the Trickster inadvertently connected Kyle to her Catwoman alter ego.

Although one seed contains enough ricin to kill an adult human, they may pass harmlessly through the digestive system if swallowed whole. She intended to use this position to run for mayor. Modern feed-making techniques break down the ricin in castor beans by heating at 140 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, although some studies suggest that residual toxic effects may linger. As the series neared its end, Selina moved to New York and through blackmail, became first corporate vice president, then CEO of Randolf Industries, a mafia-influenced company. Although the castor bean plant has long been noted for its toxicity, ricin was first isolated and named in 1888 by Hermann Stillmark. The series also fleshed out more of her origin, revealing her beginnings as an underage thief, her difficult period in juvenile incarceration, and the training she received from superhero Ted (Wildcat) Grant. (See abrin). Storylines included her adoption of a teenage runaway named Arizona, whom she briefly took on as a sidekick; aiding the criminal Bane, followed by helping Azrael to defeat him; and Selina Kyle as a reluctant government operative.

Ingested in larger doses, ricin causes severe diarrhea and victims can die of shock. This series, written by an assortment of writers but primarily penciled by Jim Balent, generally depicted the character as an international thief with an ambiguous moral code. In small doses, such as the typical dose contained in a measure of castor oil, ricin causes digestive tract cramps. In 1993, following the success of Batman Returns and Selina Kyle’s prominent role in that film, Catwoman was given her first ongoing series. Long term organ damage is likely in survivors. However, characters introduced in these stories (such as Selina’s young friend Holly from Batman: Year One and her sister Maggie from the 1989 miniseries) continue to appear regularly in the Catwoman series, and aspects of those plots are occasionally referenced, including recent issues that show Hollie remembering her days as a prostitute with Catwoman. There is no known antidote; only symptomatic and supportive treatment is available. It is currently unclear how much of these stories remain canonical to Catwoman’s current origin, as various stories and editors' statements over the years since then have stated that Selina was never a prostitute and that other events depicted in those stories never happened.

Ricin is poisonous if inhaled, injected, or ingested, acting as a toxin by the inhibition of protein synthesis. Though more circumstantial evidence was added to the theory of Selina's Falcone heritage, no definitive proof was provided. . Selina's connection to the Falcone family was further explored in the recent miniseries Catwoman: When in Rome (2004-5). It is considered to be twice as deadly as cobra venom. Further, Batman: Dark Victory, the sequel to The Long Halloween, implied that Catwoman suspected she was the long-lost illegitimate daughter of Carmine Falcone, although she found no definitive proof of this. Ricin can be extracted from castor beans and is known to have an average lethal dose in humans of 0.2 milligrams (1/5,000th of a gram), though some sources give higher figures [1]. This led Selina to kill Stan, leaving Selina in an unbalanced mental state.

Its name comes from the seed's resemblance to the tick. This series showed how Catwoman’s early career was tinged with tragedy as her former pimp Stan abducted Selina's sister Maggie and violently abused her. The protein ricin (pronounced rye-sin) is a poison manufactured from the castor bean (Ricinus communis). Birch. Ricin B is important in assisting ricin A's entry into a cell by binding with a cell surface component. This origin was expanded on in the 1989 Catwoman limited series (collected in trade paperback form as Catwoman: Her Sister's Keeper) by writer Mindy Newell and artist J.J. Ricin A is toxic to the cell by interfering with Ribosomes, responsible for protein synthesis. In the course of the story, the origin of Catwoman was also re-envisioned, as a 5'7" Selina Kyle was reintroduced as a cat-loving prostitute/dominatrix who was inspired to become a costumed cat burglar when she saw Batman in action.

A revision in Catwoman's origin, and the introduction of the modern version of her, came in 1986 when writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli produced Batman: Year One, a revision of Batman’s origin. Several stories in the 1970s featured Catwoman committing murder, something that neither the Earth-One or Earth-Two versions of her would ever do; this version of Catwoman was assigned to the alternate world of Earth-B, an alternate Earth that included stories that couldn't be considered canonical on Earth-One or Earth-Two. Catwoman's first Silver Age appearance was in Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #70 (November 1966); afterwards, she continued to make appearances across the various Batman comics. The Earth-Two/Golden Age Selena Kyle eventually died in the late 1970s after being blackmailed by a criminal into going into action again as Catwoman (as shown in DC Super-Stars #17).

Selina enjoyed this experience so much she decided to become a professional costumed cat burglar, and thus began a career that would repeatedly lead to her encountering the Batman. However, her husband had kept her jewelry in his private vault, and she had to break into it to retrieve the jewelry. It was revealed that Selina Kyle had been the wife of an abusive man, and eventually decided to leave her husband. In Brave and the Bold #197, the Golden Age origin of Catwoman given in Batman #62 was elaborated on, after Selina revealed that she never actually had amnesia.

In the 1970s comics, a series of stories taking place on Earth-Two (the parallel Earth that was retroactively declared as the home of DC's Golden Age characters) revealed that on that world, Selina reformed in the 1950s (presumably after the events of Batman #69) and had married Bruce Wayne; soon afterwards, the couple gave birth to their only child, Helena Wayne (the Huntress). Selina appeared again as a criminal in Batman #84 and Detective Comics #211, her final appearance for many years (until 1966). She wound up reforming and stayed on the straight and narrow for several years, helping out Batman in Batman #65 and #69, until Selina decided to return to a life of crime in Detective Comics #203. In Batman #62, it was revealed that Catwoman (after a blow to the head jogged her memory) was an amnesiac flight attendant who had turned to crime after suffering a prior blow to the head during a plane crash she survived (although in the final issue of The Brave and the Bold, she later admitted that she made up the amnesia story because she wanted a way out of the past life of crime).

There have been many versions of Catwoman's origins and backstory seen in the comic books over the decades. . It has a more high tech look, with domino-shaped infrared goggles on her cowl. Ed Brubaker, the master-mind behind the 2001 revamp of the character, has stated that Selina's current costume was inspired by Emma Peel's iconic catsuit [1].

In recent years, she has usually alternated between these two costumes. In the 1990s, she usually wore a skintight purple bodysuit, before switching to a black leather outfit that recalls Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman costume in Batman Returns. In the 1960s, Catwoman's bodysuit was green in color, which was typical of villains of that era. Later, she wore a dress with a hood that came with ears, and still later, a bodysuit with attached boots and either a domino or glasses-mask.

Catwoman, in her first appearance, wore no costume or disguise at all, and it was not until her next appearance that she donned a mask, which was a theatrically face-covering cat-mask that had the appearance of a real cat, rather than a more stylized face mask seen in her later incarnations. She represents a gray area in Batman's otherwise black and white life where the line between good and evil blurs, and his attraction to her stems from this perception that, in her way, she's kind of a female version of himself: another dark, beautiful creature that prowls the night. Although originally introduced as an opponent for Batman, Catwoman's status as hero or villain is ambiguous; she has her own moral code (she abhors killing, though has resorted to it at times) and has occasionally teamed up with Batman and other heroes against greater threats, even saving the lives of the entire Justice League on one occasion. Her real name "Selina" derives from the ancient lunar deity Selene.

Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, she first appeared in Batman #1 (Spring, 1940), where she was initially known as "The Cat". Catwoman (real name Selina Kyle) is a DC Comics character, associated with the Batman franchise.

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