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Tasmanian devils are developing an immune response to contagious face cancer. Can this information be used to help humans?

  • It is a large breakthrough.

    Any time an animal species shows an improvement in evolution, scientists should study the improvement and see if it would translate to humans. In this case, a species has developed a resistance to a type of cancer. This is a large breakthrough. If there is even a chance that this would help humans, it should be explored.

  • Yes, we must study them in order to see if our bodies are capable of doing the same with medicine.

    We must study the Tasmanian Devils to see if humans are capable of developing an immune response to contagious face cancer. In the past the study of animals has helped cure previously incurable diseases. The fight against cancer is one that the world seems to be united on; therefore we must take this new information and use it to our advantage against this disease.

  • Yes, I think so.

    Immunologist Prof Greg Woods, who has been developing a vaccine to fight DFTD, said the results were promising because they showed a correlation between tumour regression and an antibody response. He said the antibody serum extracted from the immune devils would be examined and used to further develop the immunisation program to see if it can produce a more targeted immune response. Two batches of immunised devils have already been released into the wild in Tasmania and so far none have succumbed to the disease, though a number have become roadkill.

  • Yes, this information can be used to help humans.

    Yes, this information can be used to help humans because if we can pinpoint exactly what is causing other animals to survive diseases, we can begin to make medicines that would mimic that response in us. This is huge information and should be studied in order to cure cancer once and for all.

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