"Seven Pounds" question
December 21, 2008 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Question about "Seven Pounds" (wow this movie sucked, but nevertheless, spoilers are inside)

Logic dictates that when you let the most poisonous animal in the universe inject toxin into your bloodstream, your organs become kind of useless, right? This link (via this skeptical blogger) would seem to indicate that the venom disrupts the supply of sodium and calcium throughout the bloodstream, shutting down everything that it hits along the way. This makes it kind of a dick move to give Rosario Dawson a heart that's full of jellyfish poison.

So, is this poetic license run amok, or did the movie's research flunkie do a better job than I did?
posted by Saucy Intruder to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
well here is one explanation:

not sure whether it's true though.
posted by clueless22 at 9:14 AM on December 21, 2008

clueless: You did read the last line of that "explanation", right?
posted by dmd at 9:17 AM on December 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

My boyfriend saw this movie yesterday and plot-spoilered it for me last night. The first thing I said was, "but isn't his heart now full of jellyfish toxin?" So I was happy to see this Q here today- I feel vindicated. I'd say it's definitely poetic license: according to this article, the venom of the box jellyfish causes tissue death and cardiac arrest in humans.

I'm assuming jellyfishing was chosen because it's the quirkiest, weirdest, easiest-to-foreshadow, least-gory, and most cinematic death the writers could imagine. Imagine a more mundane death- say he slits his wrists. What are they gonna do, show lingering shots of knives throughout the film to foreshadow his death, and then a bloodbath scene when he dies? Gross. Pills are boring, gunshots are messy and would damage vital organs, exhaust-breathing or suffocation would kill valuable tissue.... so the improbable jellyfish gets its moment of cinematic glory.

Also, that movie sounds dumb.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:09 PM on December 21, 2008

The purpose of the present experiments was to investigate the pharmacological mechanisms of the vasoconstriction caused by the toxin (pCrTX) which had been partially purified from the tentacles of the jellyfish Carybdea rastonii ('Andonkurage'). pCrTX (0.1 to 10 micrograms ml-1) produced a tonic contraction of rabbit aortic strips, which was nearly abolished in Ca2+-free medium and was significantly reduced by verapamil or diltiazem. pCrTX stimulated 45Ca2+-influx and this effect was markedly attenuated by verapamil. pCrTX-induced vasoconstriction was significantly attenuated by phentolamine, 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and in low Na+-medium, but not by bretylium, guanethidine, reserpinization or tetrodotoxin (TTX). pCrTX continuously and significantly increased the 3H-efflux from [3H]-noradrenaline preloaded aortic strips and this effect was completely inhibited by pretreatment with 6-OHDA and in Ca2+-free medium, but not by phentolamine, bretylium, guanethidine or TTX. A single exposure to pCrTX for 30 min greatly reduced the contractile responses to tyramine, nicotine and transmural electrical stimulation, but not those to noradrenaline or KC1. In addition, incorporation of [3H]-noradrenaline was reduced. Pretreatments with chlorphenylamine or indomethacin failed to modify the contractile response to pCrTX. These results suggest that the pCrTX-induced vasoconstriction is caused by a presynaptic action, releasing noradrenaline from the intramural adrenergic nerve terminals, and by a postsynaptic action, which consists at least in part of stimulation of the transmembrane calcium influx. Both pre- and postsynaptic actions depend on the external calcium concentration. The data further suggest that pCrTX damages the noradrenaline uptake and/or storage mechanisms without damaging postsynaptic contractile systems.

See also, Jellyfish toxin produces erections.
posted by porpoise at 4:10 PM on December 21, 2008

I saw the (not dumb) movie today and had the same question. porpoise: I read and tried to understand your copied and pasted comment, can you break it down into layman's terms?
posted by tellurian at 5:32 AM on January 9, 2009

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