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Texas Student´s Hairstyle Battle Tests CROWN Act at Barbers Hill High
Kyla Hooshmand, Editor in Chief • February 29, 2024

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The Science About How Poison Dart Frogs Can Safely Hoard Poison

The+Amazon+dart+frog+is+bright%2Ccolorful%2C+frog+species+found+across+the+Amazon+in+Brazil%2CColombia%2CPeru+and+Ecuador.
Getty Images/iStockphoto
The Amazon dart frog is bright,colorful, frog species found across the Amazon in Brazil,Colombia,Peru and Ecuador.

All poison dart frogs have a variety of more than 500 poisonous compounds in their bodies. These compounds are called alkaloids and these amphibians get them from their diet of mostly insects. The toxins help the frogs fend off predators but it has always been a mystery as to how these toxins go from the frog’s intestines to the frog’s skin until now. 

 

Scientists have just been able to find a protein in a frog’s body that can give the poisons a “ride” to the amphibian’s skin. This protein, called globulin or ABG might pick u,p the poisons from the frog’s blood or intestines and transport the poisons to the skin as a chemical defense.

The AGB protein shows similarities to proteins that transport hormones in mammals. With this information, scientists might be able to develop similar proteins that could soak up toxins to treat human overdoses. This is the first time scientists have found a protein that transports toxins around the body.

Scientists are still not sure how AGB can pick up these toxins or how the poison dart frogs don’t get hurt from any of the toxins moving around in their little bodies. We’re slowly learning more and more from these little amphibians, and hope later on to develop proteins like the AGB to make cures for human overdoses. 

 

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