February 23, 2006

Australian frog smells repel mosquitoes-research

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australian researchers have discovered
a natural mosquito repellent in the smelly secretions of green
tree frogs.

Researchers at James Cook University in the tropical
northern Queensland state and at the University of Adelaide
found that chemicals released through the skin of the frogs
produces a pungent smell that wards off mosquitoes.

"The smell is just not very good. Some smell of rotting
flesh, some of nuts, some of thyme leaves," researcher Craig
Williams told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Thursday.

The research, published in the online journal Biology
Letters, said green tree frogs were the first known back-boned
animals to have a natural trick to protect them from

The frog secretions were tested on mice, and were found to
give up to one-hour's protection from aggressive mosquitoes.

But Williams said he did not expect the findings would lead
to a new frog-based mosquito repellent for humans.

"In the concentrations you would need, it would not smell
good enough," he said.