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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Contact Venom  
  A poison that is absorbed through the skin.  

Very nice phrase; you get the idea instantly.

She put her hand to the door of Nikolai's apartment and died almost instantly. An assassin had smeared the door handle with contact venom.
From Twenty Evocations, by Bruce Sterling.
Published by Interzone in 1984
Additional resources -

Of course, there are lots of nasty substances that are either absorbed by the skin or react immediately - like poison ivy.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Twenty Evocations
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