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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Discovered a contagious form of cancer

A group of scientists led by Stephen Goff of Columbia University in new York discovered a type of cancer that can be transmitted, including between different species. Found this form of the disease in shellfish and is likely dangerous only for gastropods invertebrates. However, scientists are convinced of the immense importance of the open and extremely worried about him.

photo: pixabay.com

This is not the first in the history of science the case when experts have discovered an infectious form of cancer in animals, but for a long time scientists were aware of only two examples of this— in dogs disease in some cases can be transmitted sexually, and Tasmanian devils — bites.

Among gastropods bivalves contagious form of leukemia was discovered not so long ago, and initially scientists assumed that we are dealing with a kind of virus. Experts say that infected blood cells could come from some individuals to others even without direct contact and cause infection, thereby causing the death of entire populations.

Even more worrisome to scientists was the fact that, as shown by further research, discovered form of leukemia can infect not only those of mollusks, which it was originally discovered, but also representatives of other, even related species. Nothing like that so far researchers do not have to watch. The new data, according to experts, it follows that some cancer cells are able to adapt to the body very different from the original carrier. In particular, specialists found in shellfish species Polititapes aureus infected cells, from a genetic point of view corresponding to another type of clams, Venerupis corrugata.

Scientists, who published their study in the journal Nature, stress that while they may not exactly describe any mechanism of spreading contagious leukemia, nor the history of its formation, or even the degree of real danger for a variety of species, particularly living in the water.

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