"These frogs lay their eggs in stinking pools bursting with microbes. Yet none of their eggs gets infected, thanks to the froth that the frogs create. This not only prevents microbial growth, but holds its structure for many days. It is astonishing stuff.'
Post fertilization, male Tungara frogs of Trinidad build these lovely nests of froth around eggs laid by the female in festering ponds of ickiness by wildly kicking the fertile goo with their hind legs. Scientists are giggling with joy because they've discovered that this froth, this protective, sticky amphibian bubble wrap, contains a type of detergent and anti-microbial agents. This means two things to researchers: drugs and money!
This material is amazing,' said Professor Malcolm Kennedy, of Glasgow University's biology department putting a less capitalistic spin on it. 'You could imagine using this stuff as an emergency spray on soldiers injured by shell blasts or on burns victims. It could provide immediate protection for the wound and stop infections spreading. In particular, it could be used to clear up oil spills, replacing standard detergents which can cause considerable environmental damage on their own."