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Fatal frog fungal disease figured out

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A fungal infection that is killing amphibians around the world acts by disrupting the flow of electrolytes across their skin, ultimately causing heart failure. The discovery is helping to raise hopes that a treatment for the infection could one day be given to amphibians in the wild.

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a kind of chytrid fungus that causes the skin disease chytridiomycosis in amphibians, was likely spread around the world by the South African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) in the 1930s and 1940s, when the frog was widely used as a pregnancy test. A pregnant woman's urine, injected under the frog's skin, would contain sufficient hormones to make the animal ovulate.
 
 

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