© Depositphotos.com/Lajos Endredi
Cancer often kills rodents, but naked mole-rats, which can live longer than 30 years, are not susceptible to the disease. A study published yesterday (June 19) in Nature suggests a mechanism for the phenomenon: a sugar in the spaces between naked mole-rat cells appears to lower the density of cell growth and prevent tumors from forming.
Wired concurs, noting in another June 20 article:
Although they are quite ugly and confined to a life underground, naked mole rats have at least one attribute that other animals, even humans, might aspire to: They don’t get cancer. Now, researchers have discovered that the secret to this rodent’s good health is a complex sugar that helps keeps cells from clumping together and forming tumors.The discovery is certainly an interesting and encouraging one and will likely lead to further studies. But, of course, it is unclear at this early stage if the sugar will prove to be of benefit for human cancer treatment or prevention.
Last updated: June 21, 2013
Naked mole rat
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