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In & Out Burger Cookout
Makayla MylesApril 3, 2024

In-N-Out is coming to our school for Eligible 6th & 7th Graders. From 1:19-3:15 pm  on the Honor Court Lawn & Covered Eating Area.

How poison daft frogs transport defense toxins in their body.


The poison dart frog diet is what gives them their toxic skin. The skin helps them fend off the predators. The chemicals in the frog guts can be  transported to the skin by molecular “taxicabs.” 


The 175 species of dart frogs have similar systems. These animals can host 500 chemical poisons in a class called alkaloids. These are not chemicals made by the frogs. The frogs get these chemicals from the insects they eat. The way the chemicals get to the skin is still very unknown. 


Another theory about the poison dart frog is how it hosts its toxins. Researchers say it’s the frog’s metabolism and others say it’s the proteins that can blind the alkaloids. The protein could allow the frogs to pull the toxins from their food and put them into their skin without dying. The protein is called the alkaloid-binding globulin. The frog ABG is like other proteins that move chemicals. 


Aurora Alvarez-Buylla, a biologist from Stanford University in California led the team that discovered the protein called alkaloid-binding globulin or ABG. They had to go “fishing” around in cells for molecular bait to find the protein. The team mixed the lure on a dish and found out that it was similar to a protein in the blood of Diablito frogs from Ecuador. The team later studied the genes of the Diablito frogs and discovered that frog livers make ABG. Another experiment was conducted in which the scientist used fluorescent markers. It showed the protein also appears within the gut. With this discovery, scientists hope that they can create a treatment for poisoned people.


How the protein does its job is still unknown but a theory is that ABG has a method to pick up and release poison. Maybe the frog is immune to poison because of ABG. ABG needs to be studied further if scientists want to learn more and how does it its job.

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Mason Kim, Head of Department (Tech and Science)

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