London: Scientists have accidentally
discovered some key proteins from the skins of a little-known
frog which they say could be a potential treatment for up to
70 diseases including cancer, diabetes and strokes.
Researchers at the Queen`s University in Belfast
stumbled upon some unusual properties in its skin`s secretions
while doing research on the Waxy Monkey Frog from South
The properties were found to be either stimulating or
inhibiting the growth of blood vessels, an ability which can
be used in a controlled and targeted way to treat a number of
diseases, the researchers said.
Professor Crish Shaw, who led the research, said: "The
aim of our work is to unlock the potential of the natural
world -- in this case the secretions found on frog and toad
skins -- to alleviate human suffering.
"We are absolutely convinced that the natural world
holds the solutions to many of our problems. We just need to
pose the right questions to find them," Professor Shaw was
quoted as saying by a newspaper.
The researchers were testing a range of proteins taken
from secretions from frogs and toads. They soon realised that
the proteins in the secretions -- which the frogs and toads
use as protection from predators -- also control the growth of
blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis.
Professor Shaw said: "The proteins that we have
discovered have the ability to either stimulate or inhibit the
growth of blood vessels.
"By switching off angiogenesis and inhibiting blood
vessel growth, a protein from the waxy monkey frog has the
potential to kill cancer tumours."