New type of botox discovered from animal gut bacteria

Scientists have discovered a new source of neurotoxin, known for its paradoxical ability to remove wrinkles yet cause an illness associated with food poisoning from a strain of animal gut bacteria, a finding that can potentially expand its therapeutic applications. Clostridium botulinum toxin was able to jump into bacteria called Enterococcus faecium, through plasmids, mobile structures that contain DNA independently of the chromosomes and can be swapped from one bacterium to another, the study showed. Enterococci are hardy microbes that thrive in the gastrointestinal tracts of nearly all land animals, including our own, and generally cause no harm.