Scientists Make It Easier Being Green

In breakthrough, antibiotic stops fungus that's killing amphibians
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2007 4:10 PM CDT
The Southern Bell Frog was one of the species tested with an antibiotic for Chytridiomycosis. "We found that we could cure them completely of chytrids," said Phil Bishop from the University of Otago.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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(Newser) – Scientists have stumbled on a cure for the deadly fungus that is decimating the world's amphibian population. New Zealand researchers say an antibiotic used as an eye ointment for humans kills the fungus, which is blamed for the extinction of 40 species since 1980. Researchers dunked frogs in a solution of the cheap chemical and had near-miraculous results.

"Even when they were really sick in the control group, we managed to bring them back almost from the dead," one scientist tells the BBC. The team reported results before publication due to the urgency of the crisis. "If we don't do something intelligent, we're going to lose an awful lot more," said another researcher.