Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumor is a Transmissible Cancer

By Greg Woods, University of Tasmania | November 18, 2014 05:54pm ET

This article was originally published on The Conversation. The publication contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

On Monday this week The Conversation published a story under the headline “What’s killing Tassie devils if it isn’t contagious cancer?” The article suggested evidence that the Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease (DFTD) is a transmissible cancer is inconclusive and instead, environmental chemicals could be to blame. This misrepresents the state of the science.

All the latest research points to the fact that the deadly DFTD is a transmissible cancer that originated in a female Tasmanian devil. A single cell in this devil (patient zero) developed into a cancer cell.

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