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A UNIVERSITY of Portsmouth centre which uses frog-spawn to carry out research into diseases like cancer and diabetes has won a £450,000 grant.

The European Xenopus Resource Centre will now be able to employ more scientists to build a clearer picture of inherited diseases thanks to Wellcome Trust funding.

Prof Matt Guille, head of the centre, said the money would help build new labs to house the South and West African Xenopus frogs whose genetic code is very similar to that of humans.

He added: ‘Because the Xenopus’s genome is closely related to ours, it gives us a degree of certainty that if something happens at cellular level in this frog, it is likely to also happen in humans.’

A Xenopus female lays up to 1,000 eggs every 12 weeks.