Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Remarkable Immunities of the Naked Mole-Rat

                             A captive naked mole-rat eating.
   Naked mole-rats were long thought to be impervious to cancer, but The New York Times reported last month that two cases were found among a group of rodents living in captivity. Native to east Africa, naked mole-rats are small, hairless, wrinkled rodents that live in large colonies beneath arid grasslands. They have a social system that is far more reminiscent of bees or termites than of mammals. Their physiology is also curious. Naked mole-rats, as compared to other rodents, live for quite a long time, up to 28 years, which makes their resistance to cancer all the more surprising (since cancer is a common disease among animals with long lives). Why do they appear immune?...Continue reading...

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