In WW2 US tried to weaponize botulinum. Chinese prostitutes would receive capsules to kill Japanese officers who hired them. The plan was tested on donkeys, who survived so it was scrapped. That research led to the creation of Botox It was later discovered donkeys are immune to botulinum toxin.

The Origin of Botox: How It All Started

Botox is the face of the non-surgical cosmetic treatment industry. An estimated 6 million people undergo Botox treatments annually, and the Botox industry reached sales of nearly $1 billion in the last financial quarter alone.

But this trend is relatively new – in 2001, annual Botox sales were just around $300 million (source). Understanding Botox’s quick rise means understanding how Botox all started.

So where does Botox come from? Botox, or botulinum toxin type A, is a neurotoxin produced by a rod-shaped microorganism known as C. botulinum or Clostridium botulinum. Clostridium botulinum is an anaerobic bacterium found in soil and bodies of water around the world, only growing in oxygen-free environments (source).

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7 thoughts on “In WW2 US tried to weaponize botulinum. Chinese prostitutes would receive capsules to kill Japanese officers who hired them. The plan was tested on donkeys, who survived so it was scrapped. That research led to the creation of Botox It was later discovered donkeys are immune to botulinum toxin.”

  1. jelbert6969

    Sucks for the prostitutes that had to try and give it to the donkeys.

  2. mochey83

    I love the train of thought. Let’s use this as poison. Well, it doesn’t kill donkeys. Let’s inject it into our faces.

  3. VeilOfObscuration

    Donkeys can get botulism, but I think they are less sensitive than horses. Even fish get botulism.

  4. glossolalienne

    It’s one of the scarier biological weapon scenarios out there, because it’s so potent. Fortunately, it has thus far proven prohibitively difficult to aerosolize.

    “A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people.”

    “Botulinum neurotoxins are the most poisonous poison known to the humankind produced by strains of C. botulinum. The lethal dose for a person by the oral route is estimated at 30 ng, by the inhalational route 0.80 to 0.90 µg”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3028942/

  5. OllieGarkey

    This was a response to [the Japanese use of WMD against Chinese Civilians](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction#Japanese_possession_of_weapons_of_mass_destruction).

    The Japanese deployed Weapons of Mass Destruction starting in the 1930s, and continued to use those weapons throughout the war. There was even a plan ([Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Cherry_Blossoms_at_Night)) to deploy bioweapons against the American homeland in 1945.

  6. luckydidi18

    On the plus side wrinkles are not immune to botulinum toxin

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