Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A poisonous protein found in the seeds of the rosary pea.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name given to a poisonous principle obtained from Abrus precatorius.

Etymologies

New Latin Abrus, rosary pea genus (from Greek habros, graceful, delicate) + -in.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From New Latin Abrus ("genus of the species source of the bean") +‎ -in (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Warden and Waddell, of Calcutta, have isolated an essential oil, an acid named "ábric" and an amorphous substance called abrin, obtained by precipitation with alcohol from a watery infusion of the pulverized seeds.

    The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

  • Also, when monoclonal antibodies were coupled to bacterial or plant toxins for e.g. Exotoxin A of pseudomonas aeruginosa or abrin from Abrus precatorious penetrates the cell membrane and inhibits protein synthesis.

    Monoclonal Antibodies in Clinical Research

  • So Karen Lichfield died from abrin poisoning, but not from abrin in her own lab, not the material she was working on, which she said had come from Thailand.

    Day of the Dandelion

  • I was in the lab, so we had a chat, yes—about trichothecenes—and also about our work on other plant toxins, such as abrin from Abrus precatorius and the toxin from aconite.

    Day of the Dandelion

  • It appears that Karen Lichfield was killed by abrin, not trichothecenes.

    Day of the Dandelion

  • It was not a shard of glass; it was a splinter from a jequirity seed containing abrin—from America.

    Day of the Dandelion

  • And the inflammation on her hand was not from a shard of broken glass, as she had imagined, but from the sliver of a jequirity seed containing abrin—from America.

    Day of the Dandelion

  • Connstein, Hoyer and Wartenburg's work with castor seeds, have made similar experiments with jequirity seeds (_Abrus peccatorius_) containing the enzyme abrin, emulsin from crushed almonds, the leaves of

    The Handbook of Soap Manufacture

  • Immunity of the same nature can be acquired in the same way against snake and scorpion poisons, and against certain vegetable toxins, _e. g._ ricin, abrin, &c.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy"

  • Ricin and abrin are vegetable protein toxins of enormous potency and exert a narcotic action.

    The Treasure-Train

Comments

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  • "The rosary pea may sound sweet and downright pious, but it’s actually one of the most dangerous plants on earth. Its seeds contain a particular lectin known as abrin; if chewed and swallowed, death will follow shortly."
    - 'Cute Killers: 16 Unassuming-but-Lethal Poison Plants', webecoist.com, 16 Sep 2008.

    October 4, 2008