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SilverCougar

Are frogs on the brink of extinction?

9 posts in this topic

February 19, 2007

It's a rare thing to witness the extinction of an entire class of animal. We weren't around to see the dinosaurs disappear, and the dodo was just one species of bird -- it's not like all birds slowly disappeared. But according to many conservation scientists, that's exactly what amphibians are facing: Frogs and others in the amphibia class are on their way out unless the conservation community takes immediate action.

The amphibia class in general -- frogs are just the most populous group of the class, which also includes salamanders and caecilians -- has actually been on the decline for some time. Pollution, global warming and habitat destruction from human development have already taken a serious toll. Frogs, in particular, have suffered, having lost an estimated 170 species in the last 10 years alone, with another 1,900 in a threatened state, which is one step below the endangered designation (meaning extinction is imminent). But only part of the destruction is man-made. A fungus identified in the last decade seems to be speeding up the death of the worldwide frog population exponentially. The chytrid fungus coats the frog's skin and makes its pores non-functional. Because a frog relies on its porous skin for hydration and for some of its respiration, the fungus essentially cuts off its water supply and makes it difficult to breathe. In the end, the frog dies from dehydration.

Scientists believe the fungus may have begun spreading around the world in the 1940s, when African clawed frogs -- one of the only species known to be immune to the effects of the fungus -- were shipped around the world for use in medical research, specifically pregnancy testing. African clawed frogs lay eggs when they're injected with the urine of a pregnant human. It's possible that the African fungus then started attacking other frog populations, which had no immunity to it. The discovery of chytrid fungus and its devastating effects on the amphibian population has led to the development of a $500 million project called Amphibian Ark.

Amphibian Ark calls on all zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums around the globe each to take in 500 members of at least one species of the amphibian class. The zoo will clean each animal to make sure the fungus doesn't make it into the protected population, and then isolate the population. The idea is to salvage members of each of the roughly 6,000 remaining species until science has found a way to stop the spread of the fungus in the wild. Once the fungus has been controlled, the zoos will release the frogs, salamanders and caecilians back into the wild. Conservationists see the protective action as an absolutely necessary step in assuring that future generations will know what a frog sounds like, that South America won't be overrun by disease-carrying mosquitoes, and that live-saving medicines will continue to be extracted from frogs. Pain killers rely on frogs for at least one active ingredient, and AIDS researchers have found a chemical in frogs that seems to have an anti-HIV effect.

There are reports that two-thirds of several amphibian species in Central and South America are gone. The mountain yellow-legged frog has nearly disappeared from Yellowstone National Park, and most of the park's remaining members of the species have the fungus. In January 2007, Japan found its first cases of the fungus in its frog population.

source with a messa other sources

Remember the chain link for ecosystems... and how if one whole class of animals went extinct, it would bring down entire spiecies in other classes if not whole other classes themselves?

This is why it's a good thing to care about what we do to our enviroment. We may be very well about to whitness the extinction of a whole class of animals. And the majority of the reason is by our own doing.

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http://www.csiro.au/pubgenesite/research/e...ishingFrogs.htm

"Australian scientists have identified the chytrid fungus as a major cause of frog population declines in Australia and overseas.

The areas where this fungus has been found include areas that are 'pristine'. Frog population crashes have been observed in relatively untouched areas of tropical Queensland rainforest. Similar sudden declines have occurred in protected mountainous rainforest areas in Central and South America.

Research has shown that the fungus invades the keratin layer of the frog's skin, but exactly how it kills the frog is unknown. "

http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/npws.n...+Chytrid+fungus

"The fungus attacks the parts of a frog's skin that have keratin in them. Since frogs use their skin in respiration, this makes it difficult for the frog to breathe. The fungus also damages the nervous system, affecting the frog's behaviour.

A sick frog may:

* have discoloured skin

* be sloughing, or peeling, on the outside layers of its skin. This can vary from obvious peeling of skin (particularly on the feet), to a roughness of the frog's skin that you can barely see

* sit out in the open, not protecting itself by hiding

* be sluggish, and have no appetite

* have its legs spread slightly away from itself, rather than keeping them tucked close to its body. In more extreme cases, the frog's body will be rigid, and its back legs will trail behind it."

Edited by crystal sage

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http://www.mesc.usgs.gov/research/rarmi/ra...phibdisease.asp

The disease looks like a lotus root.... I wonder if using the idea of like healing like whether there is something in the lotus flower that may heal it.... or is it a fungus that may have come from genetically altered lotus flowers?????????

:tu: Bingo!!! a link here... something highly sus..... :unsure2: an earlier study of Brazillian flora and adaptability of their frogs with Australian frogs?????

http://research.berkeley.edu/urap/projects...sso?DeptID=D149

Like the Australian Wet Tropics, the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest is characterized by sharp environmental gradients due to complex topography and orographic rainfall. Despite of its high number of species and endemics, this hotspot has been heavily impacted and is still largely unknown. The goal of this project is to test if current patterns of genetic differentiation among populations of lowland forest frogs in Brazil are consistent with climate-induced forest cover change during the Quaternary. To that end, we are sequencing portions of the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA of several species of frogs endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest. Their genetic patterns will be contrasted with hypotheses of historical biodiversity refugia that were generated based on models of forest distribution under current and past climates. In addition, we are extending the phylogeographic analyses of the Australian Wet Tropics fauna by analyzing DNA patterns in lowland frogs. That will enable novel comparative analyses of the mechanisms behind biodiversity patterns across taxa with similar ecologies in two analogous tropical regions of the world.

:yes: something highly suspicious here... an experiment gone wrong????

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"That's what piqued Dr. Russell's interest in producing growth-killing polymers that mimic the "lotus effect." Despite living in dirty ponds, the lotus leaf never gets dirty. As it turns out, its hydrophobic (or water-repellent) surface prevents water from ever touching the leaf. As water rolls off, it dissolves dust and dirt, leaving the leaf forever clean.

"It's perfectly repellent," Dr. Russell said. "We hope to design a surface like the lotus leaf that also will kill the fungus."

While the lotus effect inhibits natural substances from sticking to surfaces, there's uncertainty whether it also can repel industrial chemicals, diesel fuel and oil that could ruin the mold-inhibiting effect.

Which prompts us to end this story before it gets moldy. Dr. Russell's team of researchers proved the basic principle and met MSI's challenge by developing mold-inhibiting surfaces."

http://postgazette.com/pg/07024/756149-114.stm

:hmm::huh: ...and if that gentically modified blended water repellant mould accidently gets loose in the environment.... the genetically altered spores gravitate back to their genetic memory of home... ie ponds...

viola... a new water repellant fungus is born... and proliferates and mutates to... destroy the Amphibians !!!!

http://www.mirm.pitt.edu/people/bios/Russell1.html

Edited by crystal sage

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...and if that gentically modified blended water repellant mould accidently gets loose in the environment.... the genetically altered spores gravitate back to their genetic memory of home... ie ponds...

viola... a new water repellant fungus is born... and proliferates and mutates to... destroy the Amphibians !!!!

What you said had no plausibility and temporality at all.

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Healing with frogs...

"Amphibian AMPs directly inactivate HIV by disrupting viral envelope integrity. To define the mechanism by which A-AMPs inhibit HIV, we determined whether caerin 1.9 directly affects the integrity of the virus or interacts with the target cell to prevent infection. Caerin 1.9 was added to T cells at various intervals extending to 48 h and then washed away prior to virus exposure. If the peptide interfered with cellular components required for infection, fewer GFP-positive cells would be expected following this pretreatment. Instead, there was no difference in infection of the T cells regardless of the caerin 1.9 pretreatment interval"

http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/full/79/18/11598?ck=nck

Edited by crystal sage

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What you said had no plausibility and temporality at all.

Would this work????

http://www.novalek.com/kordon/rid_fungus/index.htm

100% Organic Fungal Disease External Treatment for Aquarium Fishes

• Treats and Helps Prevent External Diseases Caused by Fungus, Protozoans and Dinoflagellates

• Safe as a Fresh or Sal****er Treatment

• Safe for Aquatic Invertebrates and Coral Reef Animals

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I doubt it, as these aquaria treatments are aimed specifically at fish fungus. If I treat my marine aquarium with copper for ich, I will effectively kill all the disease-causing protozoans, AND all other invertebrates such as crabs, shrimp, and snails.

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http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/npws.n...+Chytrid+fungus

http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/npws.n...in+a+frogs+skin

I was thinking here... :D ...as the Chytrid fungus attacks Keratin... can it too cause baldness or thinning hair in Humans?????

http://www.answers.com/topic/keratin

http://www.answers.com/topic/keratin

keratin

Fibrous structural protein of hair, nails, hooves, wool, feathers, and skin. A quarter of the amino acids in keratin are cystine, whose ability to form strong bridging (disulfide) bonds with other cystine units accounts for keratin's great stability. Keratin does not dissolve in cold or hot water and does not easily undergo proteolysis. Its fibres are 10 – 12% longer at maximum water content (about 16%) than when dry. The sulfurous smell of burning keratin is distinctive.

A fellow here thinks he may have a cure.....

http://www.flippersandfins.net/chytridBCtreatment.htm

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