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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Toxic Greens Protect Smurf-Tongued Lizards
10 February 2012 3:35 pm
Eating your greens is good for you, but if you're a bluetongue lizard, it might just save your life. New research finds that the toxic mother-of-millions plant (Bryophyllum spp.) protects some bluetongues (Tiliqua scincoides) from cane toad (Rhinella marina) toxins. Both the plant and the toad were introduced to different parts of Australia around 1935, both produce a similar toxin (bufadienolide) that can stop the heart, and both are consumed by bluetongues. When injected with non-lethal doses of bufadienolide, bluetongues from areas without mother-of-millions (inset) swam 50% slower than before they were injected, while those that live in areas with the plant only swam 20% slower, researchers report in a forthcoming issue of American Naturalist. That suggests that bluetongue lineages from mother-of-millions areas have built up a resistance to bufadienolide over time. The team hopes bufadienolide resistance will lessen the impact of another potential invader with similar toxins, the black-spined toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), on this native lizard.
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