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Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
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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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