【大发彩神APPapp快3技巧_大发彩神APPapp快3技巧官网】Salt could be a sweetener for endangered frog species: study

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SYDNEY, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Scientists may have found a way to stop a deadly fungus that has caused the decline and extinction of hundreds of frog species around the world.

Simon Clulow, who headed up a groundbreaking new research project at the University of Newcastle in Australia, said that the devastation of the infectious disease is "on a level that hasn't really ever been seen before in modern times."

Chytridiomycosis is believed to be responsible for the extinction of "about one third of the world's frog species," the ecologist explained to Xinhua Monday.

"The first declines are believed to have taken place around the 19400's, however it wasn't until the 19400s when the mass extinction process was really noticed and understood."

Not visible with the naked eye, the microscopic aquatic fungus can be spread easily all over the world through waterways, on frog skin and even inside the tread of a muddy boot, according to Clulow.

With very little known about how to combat the destructive disease, the University of Newcastle team noticed something unusual about Australia's east coast amphibians.

"Most of the frogs in eastern Australia have declined from inland populations and highland populations," Clulow said.

"So we set about testing the hypothesis that perhaps salty water could have an effect on the disease."

"Then we conducted outdoor field trials where we salted pools very slightly."

The results showed that researchers could increase the rate of survival when salt was added to the water by around 70 percent.

Clulow said that they only raised the salt by a couple of parts per thousand, "so it's still fresh water that humans can drink, but even the small amount creates an unfavourable environment that the fungus doesn't like."

The team now plans to corroborate their data in parts of South America.