Naked Mole Rats Immune to Cancer

There has never been a documented case of cancer found in a Naked Mole Rat, which is unusual as they can live to be 30 years old. Now biologists at the Unversity of Rochester believe they have found the reason.
The findings, presented in today's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that the mole rat's cells express a gene called p16 that makes the cells "claustrophobic," stopping the cells' proliferation when too many of them crowd together, cutting off runaway growth before it can start. The effect of p16 is so pronounced that when researchers mutated the cells to induce a tumor, the cells' growth barely changed, whereas regular mouse cells became fully cancerous.

"We think we've found the reason these mole rats don't get cancer, and it's a bit of a surprise," say Vera Gorbunova and Andrei Seluanov, professors of biology at the University of Rochester and lead investigators on the discovery. "It's very early to speculate about the implications, but if the effect of p16 can be simulated in humans we might have a way to halt cancer before it starts."

Further research might reveal whether the findings will be applicable to humans. Link -via reddit

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A "cure" for cancer using this method will undoubtably have consequences. Limit cell growth or regeneration or differentiation? I'd hate to be injured when I can't heal.
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