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  • Michael covers science news related to scientific employment and training at Science Careers.
 

ScienceShot: How Tree Frogs Keep Their Feet Sticky

2 July 2011 8:00 pm
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Diana Samuel

Trying to re-stick a piece of tape to a surface after it's become dusty is infuriating. So how do tree frogs pull it off? It turns out the arboreal amphibians, which secrete gluey mucus from pads on their feet, refresh their stickiness with every step they take. Biologists presenting at the Society for Experimental Biology annual conference in Glasgow found that the White's tree frog (Litoria caerulea) self-cleans as it climbs thanks to special channels in its feet that slime away dirt and debris. When the frog moves its limbs forward, the mucus and any accumulated gunk slip through the channels and stay behind while new sticky mucus is secreted in its place. The researchers say these findings could one day inspire such technology as self-cleaning medical bandages and self-renewing adhesives.

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