New research shows that naked mole-rats are impervious to cancer. Fascinatingly, there are animals on this earth that have biologically evolved ways to combat some of the larges health problems we humans face- and some of them aren’t that different from us.

Rats have very similar genetics to humans in both function and structure. Perhaps then, the secret behind the mole-rats immunity to cancer could shine a light for researchers toward a cure for cancer in humans. Mole rats are a subterranean African mammal that live up to thirty years of age. If humans lived as long as this species, relative to their own body-size, we’d enjoy a life up to 600 years old.

According to new research highlighted in Nature, a protective sugary substance called Hyaluronan exists in the space between cells in the mole-rat. This substance may be that which prevents the growth of malignant tumors.

Cute, hey? The naked mole rat.

Like any scientific journey, much more experimentation is necessary to fully understand the relationship between cancer growth and Hyaluronan presence. Scientists anticipate future research in modifying the genetic code of common mice to produce Hyaluronan to determine if they develop the same cancer-fighting power. Perhaps, in the not too distant future, humans could also benefit from this incredible discovery.

Cover image from this link

Second Image of Cancer Cells from this link

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