Poisons and Drugs

  • David S. Goodsell


Beneficial drugs and hazardous poisons are shades of one another. The old adage is entirely true: one man’s passion is another man’s poison. Poisons attack and destroy a key molecular machine, blocking one of the vital processes of life and killing cells. Antibiotic drugs do exactly the same thing: they block or destroy some key molecular machine. Antibiotics, however, are designed to poison only a microorganism trying to invade your body, without poisoning you at the same time. Antibiotics are specific poisons. They must selectively poison a molecular machine which is vital to the pathogenic organism, but which is not needed in our bodies.


Molecular Machine Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Arsenic Poisoning Muramic Acid Seventh Step 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • David S. Goodsell
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular Biology InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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