Naked mole rats are unique in many ways. For one, they're the only mammals with a hive mind, obeying their queen as if they were ants. Also, they feel no pain, an adaptation still not fully understood. But most importantly for us, they are the only animals that don't get cancer.
And now, a new study by scientists at the University of Rochester, New York, explains at last why these horrific animals, of all of the world's creatures, are immune to cancer.
According to the scientists, the mole rat's cells express a gene that tells cells to stop dividing. The gene, called p16, forms a second ring of defense against cancer. Most mammals, including humans, only have one gene, p27, protecting cells from cancer. And while most cancers know a way around p27, p16 stops them cold.
In the experiment, researchers gave cancer to a mole rat cell. However, unlike similarly altered mouse cells, the cancerous mole rat cell didn't engage in the non-stop proliferation associated with cancer.
Naked mole rats were already known for their extreme longevity, living much longer than other similarly sized rodents. This was thought to result from their ability to massively slow down their metabolism during times of privation, but this immunity to cancer almost certainly also contributes to their long lifespans.
Some other mole rat facts: their lips are behind their front teeth, they breathe mostly through their skin, and acid doesn't really burn them. I don't know what planet these things are from, but if they're helping cure cancer, I'm glad they're here.
Win a t-shirt featuring the cancer-immune mole rat here.
Naked mole rats are not 'horrific'.
aww cute little critters...
If the cure for cancer comes from those things, I don't want it. Gross
@wayneNtampa: Anything is horrific if looked at the right way.
@coolnezz: Play Fallout 3
@ste3v3: lolwhutsrsly? Out of all the reasons to not want a cure for cancer, you choose because the creature the cure may originate from is considered ugly by a portion of people?
stop speaking my mind.
I'm with ste3v3,
I'd rather die an incredibly slow, horribly agonizing, unbearably painful death than to get a cure from these things. Now, if these monstrosities taste good raw I might change my mind.
Would it be better if you put a neat little suit and top hat on them and taught them to walk with a cane? I think most of the revolution comes from these creatures immoral behavior bringing children to an orgy that's just wrong.
Why is there advertisement on the post above? I thought it wasn't allowed.
And comon people, scientist are think to use mosquitoes to cure malaria and you're scared of naked-mole rats...
It's like you're saying eww.. buckley taste like *bleep* I'd rather be sick than drink that *bleep*. Once you're sick, I feel like *bleep* giveme some buckleys to cure me! (plead)
pretty much all the articles i read, i see that ad. they really need to get their account banned, because you arent supposed to be advertising. not to mention i dont think anybody cares
Naked mole rats are awesome! Their so different from all other mammals, it's awesome. I'd love to have a cure for cancer from them.
Wow. Just look at what you will find in the most unexpected places; this could be a groundbreaking find... or not. Honestly, you never know if it is the next big thing or not. If this works it would mean a long-awaited cure for cancer. Coupled with gene therapy, it could render the patient immune to cancers. Check out the article about the blind boy that was cured with gene therapy(its a few articles back)
Well, would be interesting, though good luck giving gene therapy to every single cell. I suppose however, if anyone gets IVF, they could get the DNA of those cells modified and cure your future kid of cancer...
At any rate, throw this in with the anti-colorblindness viral therapy they're working on, I'd be good. Able to see red and not get cancer.
I knew these creatures exist, but I had no idea of their qualifites mentioned here. (But, then, I'm not a scientist, so I can plead ignorance -- which I do have in abundance!)
As for myself, I had skin cancer about a decade ago, and while I am doubly fortunate not to have had melanoma and to have remained cancer-free since. As a result, I don't care WHERE a cure is found. Heck, if the critters in "ID4" or "Alien" were to be the source -- bring it on. (Adding to that is that many of my relatives on both sides have died of cancer. Plus, I'm 58. Give me a good, honest heart attack or stroke any ol' time.)
Interesting. Let's just hope the gene responsible for fighting cancer in naked mole rats isn't associated with their less desirable traits, too. I really wouldn't want to get p16 written into my DNA, only to end up hairless, wrinkled and half-blind ... certainly not before I've hit my eighties!
Hideous? Horrific? How so? Quit trying to work up a false frenzy and just stick to the story.
I think discovery is great. Something to think about though is
the questions you always need to ask yourself when making change. If I make this change could it have side effects? (good or bad). Is this the best way to make this change? What effect will this have on the subject and the donor or environment? There are a host of other questions one could ask and would need to answer. Even if it seems everything is a go we'll have to see 10,20 years from now if it was. A case in point that is some what applicable is, how good eating a prime rib stake is then finding out 20 years later you have mad cows disease. I know, I know, what a stretch. You get the idea right? I admit if your dying of cancer you really don't
care about any of that (as in chemo with hair loss and a host of other side effects). In the words of a famous stand up comedian, "..so I say to you, drink up Shiners".
makstarn, I agree with you completely. You too, Javaii.
I don't think that a creature should be labeled 'horrific' just because it looks different or has unnatural abilities. Think about how 'horrific' we must look to them (figuratively)
Also, anything that supplies us with the tools to cure caner is pretty darn cool to me!
sorry, cancer not caner.
They must find a way to give them cancer.
I can just see the internet ads now: Powdered mole rat capsules. Never get cancer!
C'mon, genedoug, you know that it isn't gonna be a pill. It will take the form of a mole rat slurpy, with beta-carotene and calcium. How else they gonna get you to buy your mole rat juice every day? No money is made off of a cured disease.
The cure for cancer is GUARANTEED the nobel prize, which by the way is 1 MILLION $$$.
I wonder if our hairless bodies look this freaky to chimps.
One of the most interesting and useful animals I've seen to date, but really people, it looks like an abortion of nature. Teeth on the outside of the mouth?
I think its safe to say that if you have multiple qualities that 99% of Earth's species have never heard of... You're probably a freak. Of course, that being said, I think we fit into that category as well. Not that there's anything wrong with that :)
This is very interesting, most general public dont know that we all have cancer cells in our body. They are used in keeping the immune system in check. This is where supporting or promoting the correct Kinses(messenger proteins that activate our DNA) and/or immune system is so vital. Because what our body takes in translates to Good or Poor health. We cant just think its one thing causing cancer, its the overall failure of the body from poor diet, poor quality nutrition, stress management and lack of exercise. Another point: I still dont understand why most professionals fail tell their patients with Cancer to avoid eating sugar? Do you know the action for locating a tumor? They inject you with sugar or glucose, this is because Cancer cells live off of it... So this is why there is never going to be a cure for cancer unless you tackle diet and lifestyle. www.nut-dyntv.com
Life is awesome.
Go Mole Rats!
Naked Mole Rats Rule!!
I've just registered and it's my 1st but not last comment.
Actually other than that I've got nothing to say.
Have a wonderfull day.