Tasmanian devils – rare cancer – 02/22/2006

  • November 23, 2013 at 1:52 am #1139

    Hello to anyone still on this site.
    I am continuing to report here because I believe our original
    thinking of following what appears in our natural enviornment, will
    beyond question, underline our concerns surrounding aerosol spraying.
    Best to one and all,


    Tasmanian devils felled by rare cancer
    01 February 2006
    NewScientist.com news service

    A BIZARRE infectious cancer seems to be the cause of the fatal
    facial tumours that are wiping out Tasmanian devils, the world’s
    largest surviving carnivorous marsupial. The disease, which has
    killed at least a third of the wild population since the mid-1990s,
    had now infected devils across more than half the island.
    Early analysis of the tumours suggested that the animals may be
    passing on cancerous cells during fights (New Scientist, 6 July
    2005). Now a team led by Anne-Maree Pearse of Tasmania’s department
    of primary industries has performed a genetic analysis of tumour
    cells from 37 animals.

    Results from the first 11 animals reveal that all the tumours
    contain cells with 13 grossly abnormal chromosomes, instead of the
    usual 14 healthy ones (Nature, DOI:10.1038/439549a). They were
    genetically identical whatever their stage of development,
    suggesting they did not arise in the animals’ own tissue. “The
    cancerous cell line is leading a sort of independent existence,”
    Pearse says.

    This cell line probably arose in one devil with a cancer, she says.
    Cancer genomes are usually very unstable, but somehow this line was
    stable and persistent. The only other known example of a
    similar “allograft” tumour disease, transmitted by direct transfer,
    is of a venereal sarcoma that is passed between dogs while mating.
    From issue 2537 of New Scientist magazine, 01 February 2006, page 20

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