Cancer is a very delicate subject for us all to discuss, as we live our day to day lives trying to avoid ever getting this disease and doing what we can to help prevent us contracting it. There is one living creature however, that cannot contract the disease. This remarkable animal is called the “naked mole rat.”
The mole rat which is also often referred to as “desert mole rat” and “sand puppy “is a burrowing rodent which resides in native parts of East Africa. Along with their hairless appearances, the mole rat has a lack of pain sensation in its skin. As they live underground they also tend to have a high tolerance for living with near enough no oxygen. The mole rat lives for, on average up to 30 years, in this time they don’t ever contract cancer. Scientists have continued to study the mole rat and why it appears to be immune to cancer; they have raised large colonies of the mole rats and noted that none of them they have raised have ever come across such cancers.
Mole rats are found to live in colonies similar of that to an ant’s colony, which varies in size between 20 to 300 at a time, on average there will be and many as 75 mole rats living together. They also have job roles in which they have to abide by. The rats live in colonies and also have a “queen” which is also similar to the way ants live. The “queen” can live from anywhere between 13 to 18 years and when the current queen dies another female takes her place.
A study conducted on the “moles” which included affecting them with potential cancer causing cells either by injecting it into the animals or simply rubbing it on their skin, showed that the mole rats did not show any signs of cancerous damage at all.
Tissues inside the animal which are called (fibroblasts) were taken in samples from the mole. When these tissues were used for research they were proven to prevent the growth of the cancer cells in humans when tested in a laboratory. The mole rat is definitely a unique species, as it has these anti cancerous properties. Others studies have looked at how the mole survives on little to no oxygen. Another study suggested that if the mole rat did not have (HA) a high-molecular-mass-hyaluronan in the rodent’s tissue it would be in fact less resistant to cancers which is very interesting.
The findings and research taken part on these animals has suggested that humans may benefit from these mole rats, as new human cancer therapies will follow. In Britain alone up to 350,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. Macmillan cancer trust have predicted that by 2020 the number of people who will be diagnosed with cancer will rise to nearly half the UK’s population, so working with the naked mole rat may help us find relevant treatment to also help prevent and treat cancer and even eliminate it completely.
“Professor Aaron Avivi and his team found that cells from the blind mole rat and its cousin the naked mole rat secrete a substance that destroys cancer cells in mammals – including humans.
Experts think harvesting this substance and making it safe to digest could wipe out a disease that kills eight million people each year worldwide. Last night Prof Avivi, of Haifa University in Israel was heading to London where he is due to present his findings to professionals.
His radical approach studied the two species of rat that both live mostly underground – which the team discovered had led to a dramatic evolution of their metabolism.
Blind mole rats outlive other rodents by at least 20 years with no outward signs of ageing. Researchers have never located a cancerous tumour on one of them.”
Reference was taken from the following page found: http://www.express.co.uk/
Written By: Kelly Walker