Friday, 20 July 2012

New antibiotics from stinking frog skin species – via Herp Digest

Pratibha Masand, TNN Jun 13, 2012, 07.12PM IST

MUMBAI: Scientists in China are working on a research to develop a new generation antibiotics from the skin of stinking frog species. So far, the scientists have identified more than 700 chemical substances from nine species of odorous frogs. Researchers have also found that foul smelling frogs not only offer clues to prepare a new range of antibiotics but boost human immune system against bacterial attacks.

Stumbling upon this new development, scientists have taken into account the simple fact that the 'rotten fish' smelling frogs, could survive the worst bacterial attacks in their life span as their skin emits some chemical substances that have the anti-bacterial properties.

China 's National Basic Research Programme and the National Natural Science Foundation are funding the research. "We are trying to identify the specific Anti-Microbial Peptides (AMPs) that account for almost one-third of all peptides found in the world, the greatest known diversity of these germ-killing chemicals," said scientists, Yun Zhang, Wen-Hui Lee and Xinwang Yang.

"Long back scientists have recognized frog's skin as a rich potential source of new antibiotics. Frogs live in warm, wet places where bacteria thrive and have adapted skin that secretes chemicals, known as peptides, to protect themselves from infections," explained the scientists.

Earlier in a similar case, a drug from the poison of 'Bufo Rana', a toad specie was prepared in Homoeopathy to treat various disorders including nervous troubles, paralysis, rheumatism and impotence. Homoeopathic Bufo is made from the poison of the toad. The toad releases poison when it is teased or irritated. It can paralyse a dog. The Chinese were the first to apply dried toad poison for a variety of complaints.

On one hand when the frogs are being used for a variety of purposes such as study subjects in labs and as food delicacies in a variety of cuisine like 'jumping legs' in restaurants, environmentalists are worried that large scale butchering of frogs may disturb the environment as these amphibians have been protecting the environment by killing the harmful disease causing bacteria and insects. Killing the frogs is a punishable offense under the World Life (Protection) Act in many countries.

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