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Chrissie Cole
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Ricin Found in Las Vegas Motel; Seven People Taken to the Hospital

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Ricin, a known toxic substance, was found in a Las Vegas motel, according to preliminary testing. Authorities do not believe it is terrorism-related. Seven people were transported to local hospitals as a precautionary measure.

When it’s injected, ricin is “one of the most toxic substances known,” Stata Norton, University of Kansas professor emeritus and expert in toxic plants, tells the Health Blog. The poison interferes with RNA and blocks the body’s ability to make protein. “If you can’t synthesize protein, you’re dead,” Norton says.

What makes ricin particulary scary – there is no antidote. Once it’s in the cell, there is no way to get it out.

A powdery substance believed to be ricin was found in the room along with castor beans. Ricin is made from castor beans.