Friday, October 09, 2015

Factoid of the day

Elephants rarely get cancer. Scientists are trying to find out why.

The researchers found that elephants have a more aggressive internal mechanism for killing damaged cells that are at risk for becoming cancerous.

and the naked mole rat NEVER gets cancer. 

Misnomer: The naked mole rat is not naked, is not a mole, and is not a rat (Source: Roman Klementschitz/Wikimedia Commons)
They are vegetarians (mostly), acid doesn't give them pain, and they live 30 years.

but unlike the elephant, who replace bad cells quickly, the naked mole rats don't grow a lot of new cells

 They don't get cancer. Cancers account for about 10 to 15 per cent of all human deaths, and about 90 per cent of all mice and rat deaths — providing they can avoid cats and the like. Naked mole rats — zero cancer deaths. They simply don't get any cancers.
We've found several different pathways or adaptations they use to avoid cancer. One is called early contact inhibition. The 'contact' refers to cells touching or contacting each other. Normally the cells in your body are always dying and always regenerating. And normally they regenerate and grow to a certain stage. Once they have replaced what was there originally they stop growing. Cancer cells do not stop growing in most animals. But they do in the naked mole rat.

mp3 discussion

and for you Disney channel fans: one even is a co star in the KimPossible series, the pet of Ron, whose father had severe allergies and required a hairless pet.

Rufus: yes, even naked mole rats can be made cute in Disney's world.

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