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There's a frog in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza
December 19, 2012 1:14 PM   Subscribe

A frog in the milk bucket keeps the fungus away?
posted by curious nu (32 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Frogs have neither teeth nor claws

It would be cool to read further into the article, but I just had to stop and picture a frog with teeth and claws, and now my mind is stuck in a loop.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:21 PM on December 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Milky frog goo" is a phrase I never expected to read, especially on npr.org
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:22 PM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Frogs could have teeth and claws if genetic researchers got their priorities straight.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:23 PM on December 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


They'd drop a live frog in the milk bucket.

With the addition of vodka this is known as a Green Russian.
posted by Kabanos at 1:34 PM on December 19, 2012 [14 favorites]


Wait, I thought that was how postage stamp glue was made.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:35 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hate science reporting.

The compounds discovered are members of a broad class of antimicrobial peptides. This class was first discovered in 1987 by Michael Zasloff and colleagues, after he observed that incision marks healed remarkably well (ie. no infection) post frog surgery.

Antimicrobial peptides are found in every form of plant and animal life (and a few bacteria), and while strongly antiviral, antibacterial, etc. are currently useless as treatments for systemic infections, because they're inactivated by human serum and are generally highly toxic to human cells. Over the last twenty years or so researchers have created thousands of synthetic peptides without significantly improving therapeutic effect (though of course we've made some nice gains, especially in terms of toxicity).

The main interest now is the ability of natural and synthetic antimicrobial peptides to modulate the immune system. Cathelicidin LL-37, a human antimicrobial peptide found in nearly all of our tissues, has been found to essentially summon immune cells to the site of bacterial infections, promote wound healing, and suppress TNF-alpha based inflammation. Harnassing the antinflammatory properties could one day lead to cures for arthritis, eczema, multiple schlerosis (why not), and most other inflammatory auto-immune disorders.

The current paper is an analysis of all the antimicrobial peptides produced on the surface of one frog. There's a lot, but that in and of itself isn't terribly remarkable.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 1:37 PM on December 19, 2012 [21 favorites]


Before the advent of refrigeration, Russians had a neat trick for keeping their milk from spoiling. They'd drop a live frog in the milk bucket.

I'm just going to sit here the rest of the day and imagine ever-more fantastical scenarios that resulted in this discovery.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:39 PM on December 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Wouldn't your milk also be full of frog waste?
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:41 PM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Frogs have neither teeth nor claws

Actually the African Clawed Frog Xenopus is frequently used as a model system in developmental biology. The claws aren't very big though, so don't panic.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:45 PM on December 19, 2012


Frogs have neither teeth nor claws

And for good reason.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:48 PM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Frogs have neither teeth nor claws, so the secretions from their skin constitute one of their main defenses against predators large and microscopic, Lebedev tells Shots.

This kind of suggest to me that other animals use their teeth and claws as defenses against microscopic predators. I am puzzled by that assertion.

Also, I am really pleased that the MeFite take-away from this article is "Frogs have neither teeth nor claws." Yay! We are science!
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:48 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aww sevenyearlurk, I wanted to be the one to mention Xenopus laevis! I guess I'll have to settle for pointing out the fact that the "claws" on the African Clawed Frog are not actually true claws but are in fact sharp bones that the frog can extend when threatened by pushing them out through its own flesh.

Neat, huh? Nature is weird.
posted by Scientist at 2:09 PM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some of you may remember a song about a frog in the bucket. If you do, you are probably old. In the old days, there used to be a lot of frogs: hence, lots of songs about frogs. I miss frogs and all of their songs, both the ones they sang and the ones human beings liked to sing about frogs. What's not to like about a frog song?

Frog song, frog song, fog horn, rib bone...
posted by kozad at 2:13 PM on December 19, 2012


Here is the actual paper:
Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of the Skin Peptidome of Russian Brown Frog Rana temporaria
A nano-HPLC-ESI-OrbiTrap study involving HCD and ETD spectra has been carried out to clarify the composition of the skin peptidome of brown Russian frogs Rana temporaria. This approach allowed determinantion of 76 individual peptides, increasing 3-fold the identified portion of the peptidome in comparison to that obtained earlier with FTICR MS. A search for the new bradykinin related peptides (BRPs) was carried out by reconstructing mass chromatograms based on the ion current of characteristic b- and y-ions. Several peptides were reported in the secretion of R. temporaria for the first time. The overall antibacterial activity of the skin secretion in general and of one individual peptide (Brevinin 1Tb) was determined using PMEU Spectrion (Portable Microbe Enrichment Unit) technology. The inhibitory effects of these peptides on Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica Serovar typhimutium were equal in scale to that reported for some antibiotics.
The work itself is kind of neat in a really limited way, but is almost half advertisement for the Thermo-Scientific machine the authors bought and honestly the only thing possibly interesting to a layman is the frog milk story. Peptide therapeutics (previously) have all kinds of complications these authors haven't even begun to look at, no toxicity testing on human cell lines, no animal data, no nothing but a short list of peptides with poorly characterized antimicrobial activity to add to the many thousands known.
"They analyzed the resulting milky frog goo and found a complex cocktail containing chunks of proteins called peptides."
LOL. Even if we can't expect science journalists to have paid attention in their high school science classes, much less actually have any meaningful familiarity with the science they cover, we can at least expect them to check wikipedia rather than sketchy linkbait? These are not chunks of proteins, they are complete peptides and milk was entirely uninvolved in anything the authors actually did. For fucks sake this guy can't even tell that none of the species mentioned in the article as being affected by these peptides are Eukaryotic much less fungal. Interestingly, the frog is apparently known to produce antifungal peptides, but that activity was not searched for here.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:18 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know how this rumor got started or why, but frogs totally have teeth. Upper jaw and sometimes in the roof of the mouth. One species has lower jaw teeth too.

Toads don't have teeth, frogs almost always do.
posted by fshgrl at 2:20 PM on December 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


If you brought me a pill that would cure allergy/auto-immune type disorders I would really not ask too many questions.

Hook worm, brown frog goo, spider zest... I just don't even fucking care anymore. Sign me up.
posted by skrozidile at 2:23 PM on December 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Milky frog goo" is a phrase I never expected to read, especially on npr.org

# # #

Teri Rialto: Well, Christmas is a time for traditional foods and liquid treats, and we have a very special guest today.

Margeret Jo McCullen: That's right, Teri. He's the owner of his own holiday juice bar, with a very, very clever name – Wart on Christmas.

Teri Rialto: [ laughs ] That's really funny!

Margeret Jo McCullen: I know, it sounds like War on Christmas!

Teri Rialto: Please welcome the owner of Wart on Christmas - Pete Mill Quay.

Margeret Jo McCullen: Well, Pete, Teri and I have been looking forward to having you on the show, 'cause we know you're the master of all kinds of Christmas drinks. Tell us about them.

Pete Mill Quay: Well, there are lots of great drinks this time of year – Christmas ales, eggnog… But the thing that I most like to bring out this time of year is my Frog Goo.

Teri Rialto: Mmm... Frog Goo... Tell us about your Frog Goo, Pete.

Pete Mill Quay: Well, over at Wart on Christmas, we have Frog Goo for every taste. Leopard Frog Goo, Bull Frog Goo, Poison Dart Frog Goo... You name it.

Margeret Jo McCullen: Wow! My mouth's watering just thinking about that goo!

Teri Rialto: It's been years since I've seen any goo.

Pete Mill Quay: Would you like to see my goo now?

Margeret Jo McCullen: Yeah. Pop your cork.

Teri Rialto: Mmm... Wow... You have some beautiful goo...

Margeret Jo McCullen: It’s thicker than I expected.

Pete Mill Quay: A lot of people tell me that.

Margeret Jo McCullen: Look at that, Teri - the way it glistens.

Pete Mill Quay: That's because I make sure that every batch is fermented for three weeks before it’s bottled.

Margeret Jo McCullen: I can't help but, notice, Pete - your goo is a little smelly.

Pete Mill Quay: That's because I added too much asparagus prior to brewing.

Teri Rialto: Can I smell your goo?

Pete Mill Quay: Go ahead. But be careful, that’s a very delicate bouquet.

Margeret Jo McCullen: Wow. I can't wait to get a mouthful of his goo.

Teri Rialto: [ sniffing ] Personally... I like the way your goo smells.

Pete Mill Quay: Do whatever you want to, ladies. My goo is here for your pleasure.

Margeret Jo McCullen: Wow, Pete. I have to say - your goo is so creamy.

Pete Mill Quay: Well, there's no beating my goo. It’s made from a secret Mill Quay Family recipe. No one can resist my Mill Quay Goo.

Margeret Jo McCullen: Wow. Mill Quay Goo. Nothing like Mill Quay Goo.

Teri Rialto: Good goo.

Margeret Jo McCullen: Mmm... Good times.

Teri Rialto: Good times. Mmm.

[ fade out ]
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:28 PM on December 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Frogs have neither claws nor teeth mmmhm
Frogs have neither claws nor teeth
(This is not a correct belief) mmmhm

Frogs have antibacterial hide mmmhm
Frogs have antibacterial hide
that'll keep milk fresh with the frog inside mmmhm

Science reporting sort of sucks mmmhm
Science reporting sort of sucks
But these Russian frogs should make some bucks mmmhm

Thank you! I'll be here all week! Try the frogs legs!
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:31 PM on December 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Given that frogs and toads pee on you with very little provocation, I have to wonder if surprised, cold, and suddenly dairy-soaked frogs pay close attention to the tiny sign on the bucket that reads "We don't swim in your toilet, so don't pee in our milk bucket."
posted by sonascope at 2:42 PM on December 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Wow, IRFH. That sort of made my afternoon.
Made it disturbing.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:53 PM on December 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good times.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:57 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am trying to imagine a scenario in which frog goo and, well, poo in my milk are preferable to the milk spoiling sooner. I am failing.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 4:08 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I assume that if you left a frog in a milk bucket for a significant length of time, the frog would die. Then you'd have fresh milk, with a dead frog in it.

Good times.
posted by Scientist at 4:30 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not so much that the milk doesn't spoil, as that no one cares to drink it. The milk is spoiled, just in a different way.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:35 PM on December 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, Salmonella. Doesn't kill you, just makes you wish you were dead.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:36 PM on December 19, 2012


the "claws" on the African Clawed Frog are not actually true claws but are in fact sharp bones that the frog can extend when threatened by pushing them out through its own flesh.

Even lesser known fact: The vocalization of the African Clawed Frog is approximately "heybub snikt snikt".
posted by brennen at 4:54 PM on December 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Darn you, Blasdelb and Orange Pamplemousse ! You guys take a perfectly good frog-in-the-milk-bucket story and add real science to it.

And after all the work I put into making this milkshake.

What's red and green and goes 175 miles an hour?
A frog in a blender.
What do you get if you add milk?
Frog nog!

posted by BlueHorse at 6:40 PM on December 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Frog milkshake, you say?
posted by Burhanistan at 6:51 PM on December 19, 2012


Hadley: I'm never gonna see a frog with claws and teeth.

Sitterson: Dude, be thankful. Those things are terrifying. And the cleanup on them's a nightmare.
posted by SPrintF at 6:58 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Frog slowly crawls through the smoke on its claws

Hadley: Oh come on
posted by flaterik at 12:44 AM on December 20, 2012


It would be cool to read further into the article, but I just had to stop and picture a frog with teeth and claws, and now my mind is stuck in a loop.

No. Appearing: 2 - 24
Alignment: Hungry
Attacks: Claw/Claw/Bite/Tongue
Treasure: None
posted by FatherDagon at 9:38 AM on December 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Froggy milk goo? I thought the article was going to be about psychedelic frog secretions...
posted by forscience at 9:09 AM on December 23, 2012


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