According to a BBC story frog and toad skin could help to cure over 70 major diseases.

We have all heard of venoms from various poisonous creatures being used to make antidotes for poisons, natural products being synthesised to make drugs and the health benefits of drinking various animal products such as milk. These are only a  few ways in which chemists use nature to find answers to scientific problems, but have you ever heard of anyone using frog skin yet?…

Waxy monkey frog

A team led by Chris Shaw at Queen’s University Belfast, in Northern Ireland, have just won a Medical Futures Innovation award because they discovered that a protein from the waxy monkey frog can stop the growth of blood vessels and could help kill cancerous tumours.

Tumours need a blood supply to bring them vital oxygen and nutrients, but using this protein – found in the secretions on the frogs’ skin – the researchers believe cancer could become a chronic illness rather than a terminal disease.

The team also found that a protein secreted through the skin of the giant firebellied toad can stimulate blood vessel growth. They hope that the protein could form the basis of treatments to help patients recover more quickly from injuries and operations.

It seems that scientists do and should continue to look to nature for answers to the worlds’ problems. But the question is: What animal is next on the list as a potential hero for us humans?

Mike Brown

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