Monday, February 8, 2010

NHS: Frogs Frogs Frogs

It is really too depressing after our nice cruise to be writing about the NHS, the appalling figures about GP on calls or about Jane Barton and how she was "treated" by the GMC. >>>See Doctor Bloggs

It may also be dangerous to harp on about the NHS.
Frogs might sound like a better topic.
The Cockroach Catcher on his travels likes to learn about any little known natural history phenomenon in the countries he visited. In my recent cruise around South America I read something interesting about Darwin’s "Voyage of the Beagle", on the HMS Beagle. On the voyage around South America he discovered a frog that was later named after him: Darwin's Frog (Rhinoderma darwinii).

 Rhinoderma darwinii©2009 bbc

“The most striking feature is the way the tadpoles are raised—inside the vocal sac of the male. The female lays about 30 eggs and then the male guards them for about two weeks, until they hatch. Then the male takes all the survivors and carries around the developing young in his vocal pouch. The tadpoles develop in their baggy chin skin, feeding off their egg yolk. When the tiny tadpoles have developed (about half an inch) they hop out and swim away.”

How amazing!

Ooops! They have not been seen since 1978 and unlike patients at Gosport there was no overdose of morphine or similar drugs.

This is according to one of my favourite websites: EDGE.

Declines that have taken place in suitable habitat might be the result of threats such as climate change or disease, such as chytridiomycosis caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has been responsible for many amphibian declines globally, although this has not previously been reported from Chile. This species has not been seen for over 25 years and may already be extinct.”

As we made a stop in Panama, The Cockroach Catcher realised that another wonderful frog species is also threatened with extinction from the same fungus: Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

"Frog Hotel" was set up to shelter the good luck symbol of Panama, the Golden Frog of El Valle from the deadly fungus.

According to The National Geographic, a 

National Geographic/Golden Frog
Then a zoologist from New Zealand stumbled upon an “old” antibiotic that can eliminate the fungus. An antibacterial antibiotic that is antifungal!!! That has to be a first and it shows how in medicine, one should never say never and should not dismiss an old chestnut like chloramphenicol.

We still need to find those frogs of Darwin 

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