Showing posts with label Tasmanian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tasmanian. Show all posts

Programs are Saving Australia's Native Fauna

Lost handwriting skills
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Australian native fauna

Genetic Resistance by Tasmanian Devils to Facial Disease (DFTD) - Biology

Biological research shows genetic resistance to Tasmanian devil disease.
The Tasmanian devil is an animal unique to Australia. It Once resided all over the continent. Perhaps is was easy for Aboriginals to catch for food. It cannot run very fast. It could just have died out due to a warming of the country. Tasmania is its only natural home today.
Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease (DFTD
Their raucous cries led to them being named devils by European settlers. They are violent to each other though attacks on humans are virtually non-existent. Scavenging for food is their number one priority.

A facial disease began in the species in 1996. It was unusual in that it is the only known cancer transmitted from animal to animal. Tasmanian devil numbers fell by 80 per cent in twenty years due to Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease (DFTD).

Extinction was predicted. However, it was noticed that some animals survived without getting the disease. Genes were examined and these devils had five genes not present in their brothers who succumbed. This shows that all animals currently living are unlike their ancestors who dominated even a hundred years ago.
tasmanian, devil, disease, facial, european, settlement, dftd, extinction, survice, dnd, genes, resistance

Dog Makes Grade as Archeology Digger

Archeology: dog finds jawbone with teeth under Tasmanian home.
A Tasmanian gentleman doing renovations to the foundations of his home has discovered a jawbone which has some white teeth still embedded therein. His dog actually located it and dug it up. Other pieces of the skull were then found by the man.
Jawbone found under Tasmanian house
Forensic police took the "evidence" away. This find is not surprising as the house is built on top of a one hundred year old graveyard. The graveyard was supposed to be completely cleaned out before development but some skeletons were left behind.

Archeology students have flocked to the site to get some hands-on experience. The owner of the house, his daughter and dog will have to get the kettle on for all the new visitors.  Maybe they can make a buck from making and selling sandwiches.
 Archeology by Ty Buchanan 
            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia
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archeology in tasmania house fouindations home girl daughter dog found jawbone teeth graveyard articles news politics economics society anthropology historiography history sociology people nations country asia europe africa u.s. south america central Mediterranean eastern western interesting funny technology free news sex

Cancer in Clams Spread Cells Floating in the Water

Clams along the United States' eastern coastline are suffering from cancer. Like the "bug" in the Tasmanian devil it spreads from individual contact. Rogue cells jump between clams by floating in the water. The most common cancer of clams is leukemia - the sea creatures have a circulatory system.
The find happened because Carol Reinisch of Massachusetts Marine Biology Laboratory (who works on soft-shell clams) asked Stephen Goof of Columbia University to look for clams getting cancer by a  virus. He was shocked to discover a toxic cell that spreads cancer all along the eastern seaboard.

Only two other cases of the spread of cancer by cells are known. One is decimating the Tasmanian devil. The other is transmitted sexually in dogs. At present Geoff Goff's research is supposition. A lab experiment which shows cancer spreading by a cell in water has not yet been done.

Scientists will soon carry out the relevant test. Then we will know whether something dangerous has been discovered. Though people cannot get cancer by eating clams, there could be a danger of getting the same or similar cancer by swimming in water contaminated by the cells.
Biology by Ty Buchanan
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            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia

Tasmanian Devil Cancer Is Parasitic

Tasmanian devils have a unique form of cancer. It is the only type that is contagious. Just how it is transmitted is the unknown factor. Scientists studying the disease now believe it should be reclassified as a parasite. Though at first glance it seems to be a cancer it has many characteristics of a parasite.

The parasitic cancer stays in a host until the sufferer is irretrievably damaged then it will move on to a new host. It uses the Tasmanian devils predilection for violence to spread itself. It remains alive by sticking to the teeth. When devils fight they snap at each others' mouths causing blood to flow.

It is really a new category of disease. Though a cancer it not in other animals. A parasite will exist in many animals. The disease originated in one female devil during the 1990s. Just how it originated is not known. It is such a difficult disease to treat. The Tasmanian devil could reach its demise in less than 15 years.
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Culling Could Destroy the Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian devils are still under threat despite culling programs. Far too many devils must be killed to eradicate the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), so many in fact that it could decimate the Animal itself. During the incubation period of the disease, devils have no facial deformity and these animals slip through the cull net.

Current estimates give the Tasmanian devil only 25 years for survival in the wild. Work is in progress to find a vaccine. An "insurance population" is being established on the Australian mainland. And devils in north-western Tasmania have a natural genetic resistance; the spread there is slowing.

Just why the disease developed is unknown. It began in 1996. Because devils bite each other during normal interaction, DFTD spreads rapidly. The devil population has fallen by 60 per cent due to the dangerous facial tumour disease.
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