New ideas for saving Tasmanian Devils

I cannot deal with the fact Tasmanian Devils are being driven to extinction by a contagious, untreatable cancer. I cannot deal with it. Click on the first link to see the science behind the tragedy:

Numbers arent enough

Click on the second link to see why I cannot deal with this, psychologically:

Oh no… Cedric died.

I am crying remembering Cedric... I saw him as Arnies brother-from-down-under... crap...

Anne-Marie Hodge from Endless Forms just wrote about new findings about Tasmanian Devils and their cancer:

Devil Dispatch: MHC the Key to Contagious Cancer Vaccine?

I took away another idea:

Reversible epigenetic down-regulation of MHC molecules by devil facial tumour disease illustrates immune escape by a contagious cancer

Further, we show that loss of MHC molecules from the cell surface of DFTD cells is due to coordinated down-regulation of genes essential to the antigen-processing pathway, and that this loss is by regulatory mechanisms including epigenetic modifications rather than structural mutations.

I dont think giving HIV+ patients epigenetic modifiers is a good idea. But Id definitely be trying them in infected Devils.

More like this

I'm away for the weekend so I thought that I'd repost an article from the old Wordpress blog. This is actually the first ever article I wrote for Not Exactly Rocket Science and I've updated it slightly to take more recent findings into account. I'm considering doing these reposts every Saturday,…
Student guest post by McKenzie Steger Off the southeastern coast of Australia lies a small island that in the 1700 and 1800’s was inhabited by the very worst of Europe’s criminals and is now the only natural home in the world to a species named after the devil himself. Decades later beginning in…
Okay, so there are like 20,000 polar bears left. 4,000 tigers. 1,600 Pandas. Meh, who cares, right? I mean, there are still some. 1,600 plus the ones in zoos. 'Endangered' animals are fine! Yeah... No. Minor problem with decreasing population numbers: Its more than just the numbers. Its…
Evolution dances to the tune of death. Killers - be they predators, diseases or competitive peers - can radically shape a species' life cycles by striking down individuals of a certain age. The survivors respond by changing their "life histories" - a collection of traits that defines their…

The bad table manners alone make the little buggers deserving of cancer. They're called devils for a reason.


Go die in a fire.

By Kemanorel (not verified) on 09 May 2013 #permalink




You're an arse. an unfeeling arse at that.

(Note: for some reason the options below this submit button are appearing in german, given I'm in the UK either someone is mistaken about the outcome of WW2, your geolocation database is off or for some reason it's german for everyone...)

Sorry about the devils ERV.

To cheer you up....Harvey Whittemore is going to the pokey.

By Prometheus (not verified) on 29 May 2013 #permalink


The plight of the devils is much watched and researched here in Aus, you aren't the only one that is on tenterhooks re their survival as a species. I'd like to still be able to go to Cradle Mountain in Tasmania and see the wild devils.
We need our marsupial carnivores to continue to survive :)