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Species of the Week
Xenopus laevis | African Clawed Frog

Photo © William Leonard

Amphibian News Archive
Oxygen is necessary for life in most non-photosynthetic organisms and without it, irreversible brain damage and death may be the consequence. However, these effects can be mitigated with hyperbaric oxygen medical therapy. Özugur et al. (2021) explored another potential therapy using microalgae. In their experiments, transcardially injected green algae or cyanobacteria into Xenopus laevis tadpoles traveled to the brain where they produced oxygen when exposed to light. This production was sufficient enough that when the tadpoles were placed in hypoxic conditions, the microalgae produced enough oxygen to rescue brain activity. While these results have a long way to go before they can be used in human medical procedures, there are many applications they can now be used in to enhance studies, such as improving oxygen levels in cell or tissue cultures, increasing control in graded oxygen experiments, and experimentation with bilateral imbalances of oxygen on neural and motor function.

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Current number of amphibian species: 8,428 (Jan 19, 2022) Newly added species