Live animals are on display throughout the Museum's new exhibition The Power of Poison, helping elucidate the diversity and ubiquity of poisons in nature—and their myriad uses for humans, as medicine, weaponry, and inspiration.
Poisons like cyanide or belladonna may seem like the stuff of novels. But before Agatha Christie became the world’s best-selling mystery writer, such toxic compounds were, for a time, part of her everyday life—and literary inspiration.
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The word poison may evoke thoughts of murder and mayhem, but for centuries healers and scientists have harnessed the power of natural poisons, toxins, and venoms, as medicine as well. The upcoming special exhibition The Power of Poison, opening this Saturday, offers much more on Poison for Good; this article also features plants and animals that humans have used to create powerful medicines against such ailments as cancer, diabetes, and malaria.