Deformed frogs such as this one have been found in wetlands in much of North America. Copyright Pieter Johnson
Eutrophication is caused by higher phosphorous and nitrogen that create a profound impact on the food web, threatening the frogs’ existence. Copyright Pieter Johnson
It’s like a scene out of a Stephen King novel, begun in the nineties and continued at a more rapid pace in the oughts: scores of deformed frogs flopping around as best they can, found often near cattle ponds and other wetlands throughout North America.
Researchers looked for chemical pollutants or hormonal changes in the frogs as culprits. But recent evidence linked the deformities - missing, extra, or deformed limbs - to the presence of Ribeiroia ondatrae, a frog parasite that has been noted in the scientific literature for a century and a half. But no one could explain why the incidence of deformities has increased to upwards of 20 to 30 percent of some frog populations in the 21st century compared with probably less than one percent historically.
Now a collaboration involving ecologists at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Wisconsin strongly points to farming practices and development, two factors that create a condition called eutrophication in ponds and wetlands. Eutrophication is caused by higher phosphorus and nitrogen (prime components of agricultural fertilizer) levels in wet ecosystems. Higher levels of these nutrients cause a profound impact on the food web that imperils the frogs’ existence.
Tony Fitzpatrick | EurekAlert!
Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University
From the Arctic to the tropics: researchers present a unique database on Earth’s vegetation
20.11.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences
13.12.2018 | Life Sciences