A frog that lives in the Amazon secretes a substance that stimulates insulin release in humans, offering new hope to diabetics, the BBC reports. The South American shrinking frog, which grows smaller as it ages, produces pseudin-2 through its slimy skin. A synthetic version of the peptide worked even better than the real thing in lab tests conducted by scientists in Northern Ireland and the UAE.
Pseudin-2 shields the shrinking frog, Pseudis paradoxa, from infection; in humans, it stimulates insulin production in the pancreas without negative side effects. "More research is needed, but there is a growing body of work around natural anti-diabetic drug discovery that is already yielding fascinating results," a researcher told the London Times. (Read more frogs stories.)