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Sat Nov 6, 7:55 AM ET

Top Stories - Los Angeles Times

By Thomas H. Maugh II Times Staff Writer

Thank you Rob for picking this up, my heads a little fuzzy from a cold. The article is only accessible through the LA Times website and is copyrighted material. So, I had to remove the articles text from this post. You must register (its free) to check it out, but I'm sure this will pop up on other uninhibited-access sites. The article is about a California Researcher who has possibly discovered the source of dart frog toxins, namely Melyridae Beetles. Hopefully everyone can pick this info up here: http://news.google.com/news?q=Searc...Globe,+Species&hl=en&lr=&sa=N&tab=nn&oi=newsr
 
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My understanding is that you'd need to ingest the frog or rub it on a cut to be in any real danger, not something I'd ever plan on doing. In fact I vaguely recall some ritual where Indians would cook a frog and actually give themselves a small dose of the poison for an intoxicating effect (once again not something I'd ever do).

However I wonder if there are any health benefits to the frogs, becoming toxic (increased resistance to parasites?).

-Tad
 
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The problem with this if it becomes a trend is that it may get more regulatory scrutany because of the now possible adverse health effects. I know for years being at shows and seeing people ask if they're really poisonous, having the negative answer really calmed them down. Things like having them illegal, like in Indiana, could happen more often if they were again toxic.
j
 

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i think the most interesting implication of this is a possible research opportunity comparing frog toxicity to parasite infection. seems a lot of our captive bred frogs get parasites from seemingly nowhere, and i have ot believe that it's at least slightly higher than in the wild. possible link?
 

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Ha...I'm not sure if I want my frogs regaining their toxicity. God only knows how the trade will react to that. Just as Justin said, some states don't even allow the sale of venomous or poisonous species. The implications of discovering this link between the toxicity in pdfs and beetles would be scientifically altering though. The study of toxicity and parasitology would be interesting but even more so the continuation of neurological studies can be benefited. Not being able to have a constant production of this poison doesn't aid in the understanding of the use of that toxin. If laboratories can find better ways to extract the toxins, and the husbandry of these toxic beetles or ants are improved, then for all we know the answer to better treatments of MS or cancer may be beyond the corner. It's really interesting stuff and hopefully these disciplines can be linked together.

Ryan
 
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