A new strain of the toxin and the previously unknown strain of bacteria which makes it was recently discovered in California. Some controversy is brewing up as well, since the scientists are not, as of yet, releases the DNA sequences responsible for the toxin out of fears that terrorists could use it to make a bioterror weapon.
For those who don’t know (and don’t want to read the article), botulism toxin is pretty much the most acutely toxic substance known. There are several strains of the toxin (as several species of bacteria make it) and it varies in lethality. But in general tiny, tiny amounts of it (only about a dozen parts per billion if inhaled, less if injected) is enough to kill someone.
On the bright side, making an antitoxin isn’t all that difficult. They just don’t happen to have one for this toxin at the moment because it was previously unrecognized. You are right though DM, botulinum toxin (commercially known as botox) is scary stuff even in minuscule amounts. What most people don’t know is that botulinum toxin actually has a number of therapeutic uses aside from clearing up wrinkles for the wealthy and beautiful. Botox is used for a number of conditions caused by muscle spasms including blepharospasm, torticolis, and spasmodic dysphonia. I actually suffer with the last of those and have been getting botox injections in my vocal cords for the past 2 decades. Without them I would have almost no voice. With them I sound like I did before I developed this condition. Pretty interesting stuff.
More proof that the lord Jesus Christ cares about us. %-P