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How a blue protein turns tree frogs bright green – Science Magazine

Multiple times, frogs evolved a way to better match leaf color

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By Elizabeth PennisiJul. 13, 2020 , 3:00 PM
What color makes tree frogs so vibrantly green? The blue beneath their skin, of course. Those are the findings of a new study, which reveal that a unique protein complex that reflects blue light is responsible for an unusual greenhelping them blend in to their surroundings and evade predators.
Scientists came across the complex while trying to understand how hundreds of tree frog species can accumulate large amounts of a toxic green pigment known as biliverdin. In most animals, biliverdin is so dangerous that it is immediately broken down or excreted. In humans, it forms when red blood cells break down and causes the greenish color sometimes seen in bruises. But in these frogs, it builds up to what should be intolerable levels.
When the researchers isolated the pigment in eight species, they found it stayed stableand innocuousby binding with another protein called a serpine, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The biliverdin-serpine complex was found throughout the body, in the lymph, muscles, and skin. And because frog skin is mostly yellow, it looks bright green wherever the protein is present.  
In the back of an Aplastodiscus leucopygius tree frog (above), the green even has a dash of red, helping it blend in with surrounding vegetation. But in body parts without yellow pigmentlike the tree frogs bellythe blue shows through. This combination shifts daily. In the day, the scientists found, it spreads out to help sleeping frogs blend in; by night, the protein complex moves into the legs and the gut.

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‘A whole new world’: The Aussies living in a COVID-free bubble – Yahoo News Australia

Some Australians are preparing to enter a completely different world to what they left almost 12 months ago when they return home.

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While this year Australians have been forced to stay in their homes during lockdowns, some have been blissfully unaware living in a COVID-free bubble at a remote outpost.
Almost 90 people stationed in Antarctica are bracing for a whole new world as they prepare to return from their expeditions to places like Melbourne, where people are only allowed a limited time to exercise each day and wearing masks is mandatory.
Maree Riley, organisational psychologist at the Australian Antarctic Division, …

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Dengue exposure may provide some COVID-19 immunity, researchers say | TheHill – The Hill

Exposure to the mosquito-borne illness dengue fever may provide s…

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Exposure to the mosquito-borne illness dengue fever may provide some immunity against COVID-19, Reuters reported Monday, citing a new study. 
The not-yet-published study analyzed the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil and found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever, according to the newswire. 
The study led by Miquel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University, reportedly compared geographic distribution of coronavirus cases with the spread of dengue in 2019 and 2…

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Research shows Cairns a hotspot for rare skin disease, scleroderma – ABC News

Erica Blythe lives in tropical Cairns but a rare autoimmune disease means her fingers often become freezing cold, and researchers are still trying to work out w…

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On a stunning, 28-degree day in Cairns, Erica Blythe steps out of her car dressed in thick mittens, thermals and a polar fleece jumper.
Key points:

  • Even the slightest drop in temperature can cause scleroderma sufferers to lose blood circulation
  • Researchers have recently discovered a global hotspot for the disease in Cairns, Far North Queensland
  • Patients are calling for more research into the disease and are hoping for a cure

Ms Blythe lives in one of Austra…

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