FRANCIS LEROY & OLIVIER WAUTIER, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY & OLIVIER WAUTIER, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Animation showing the normal working of potassium and sodium ion channels and then their blocking by poisons. The movement of sodium (blue) and potassium (red) ions across the membrane, via their respective ion channels (red and green), causes an action potential (spike in voltage). A number of toxins produce their effect by blocking either ion channel and so preventing the propagation of an action potential. Two such toxins are tetraethylammonium (grey) and tetrodotoxin (purple), which block the potassium channel and sodium channel respectively.
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