The treatment of diabetes could be about to take a leap forward with the help of a South American frog.
A compound found on the skin of the paradoxical frog - so called because the tadpole is much larger than the adult - boosts the production of insulin.
Scientists have made a synthetic version of the compound which they hope to turn into a pill to treat Britain's two million sufferers of type 2 diabetes. The most common form of diabetes, it usually occurs after the age of 40. Sufferers do not make enough insulin, a hormone key in converting sugar into energy, or make insulin that doesn't work properly.
Blood sugar levels are initially kept in check through a tightly-controlled diet and exercise regime. But worsening of the condition over time means most suffers will need tablets or insulin injections as they get older. With not all tablets suiting everyone, the paradoxical frog - found in ponds, lakes and lagoons in the Amazon and Trinidad - could provide an alternative.
Study of the frog at Ulster University has revealed that the skin on its back contains a compound that boosts insulin production.
Source - Daily Mail