When you think of a ranch, you usually picture cattle, horses and maybe sheep--at least, that's what I picture when I hear the word. How many of us think of frogs, though? An actual frog ranch exists. Its operators raise frogs to sell to universities, labs, hospitals and other medical facilities that test on the animals, selling them for research purposes.
It's raining where I live near St. Louis right now. It almost feels as if we've had more stormy days than not this summer, and it feels like there is no end in sight. Our nearby park has been flooded all summer, our celebrations are canceled and the sky is dark as I write. This is not normal.
One of the most difficult things about organ transplants is making the organs last long enough to make it to their recipients. Traveling distance, harvesting and preparing the recipient all take precious time that can waste how viable an organ might be from start to finish. That's why researchers are hoping to find out how to slow down the decay of an organ harvested by using the science of frog anatomy.
Scientists use frogs for all kinds of things in their studies, but this latest study is particularly interesting as they attempt to find out whether or not a frog's "ribbet" can be used to help us better utilize wireless sensor networks. All of that croacking sounds like a cacophony of noise to untrained earis, but if you listen closely, frogs in range avoid overlapping noises in order to ensure all voices are heard and messages are conveyed.
Baby monitors may not be the first things that you think about when it comes to monitoring wildlife and scientific research, but the tools are useful in plenty of ways outside the nursery.