Cancer is just a bunch of gene mutations, but it’s crazy how heavily cancer can take over one’s life. Cancer as I know it is either inherited from family or an individual just happens to be unlucky to have the genes. Who would've imagined that it's possible for cancer to jump from one species to another? More specifically, this cancer is called the Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD). It is a transmissible cancer that is spread by biting and causes the appearance of tumours on the face or inside the mouth of affected Tasmanian devils. The tumours often become very large and usually cause death of affected animals. The disease has caused a massive decline in the Tasmanian devil population, and the species is now considered endangered. The Tasmanian devil is the world’s largest living carnivorous marsupial. About the size of a small dog, Tasmanian devils are well known for their piercing nocturnal shriek and their strong jaws. Hopefully with this research, our understanding of transmissible cancers will grow and the Tasmanian devils won't be completely wiped out.
Posted by Catherine Tsang (3)