Monday, May 22, 2023

479 - Uncomplicated Critters Conquer Cancer

T. adhaerens
By Fortunato et al. 2021.
PLOS Biol e3001471
CC BY 4.0

This episode: Simple microscopic animals can survive extreme radiation by ejecting damaged cells that might otherwise become cancer!
Download Episode (7.3 MB, 9.2 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Helleborus net necrosis virus

News item

Any multicellular organism with different types of cells needs some sort of cell regulation, to keep each cell type doing what it’s supposed to do for the good of the organism as a whole. We know what happens when this regulation fails and one type of cells starts multiplying out of control: cancer.

However, cancer has never yet been observed in certain organisms, including the simple microscopic animal Trichoplax adhaerens. In this study, these animals are exposed to large amounts of radiation and then observed over years to see if they can develop cancer or have interesting mechanisms of resisting it.

Journal Paper:
Fortunato A, Fleming A, Aktipis A, Maley CC. 2021. Upregulation of DNA repair genes and cell extrusion underpin the remarkable radiation resistance of Trichoplax adhaerens. PLOS Biol 19:e3001471.

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