Sunday, November 19, 2023

Chaos in the Bay: Odd Phenomenon Amongst Shellfish

  Seafood, or specifically shellfish, is popular worldwide. When these delicacies living populations starts dwindling, concerns may arise. Especially when this happened to clams (soft-shell) in both the Chesapeake and Maine Bays in the 1970s and researchers could not find the cause. Not until now. Dr. Metzger and his team of researchers found that the cause is a form of cancer which is not only unstable but also contagious. Similar occurrences have been affecting other species of shellfish (cockles, mussels, etc.) as well. These cells go through unorthodox changes (which would normally destroy the cell) and survive anyway. 

  This isn't isolated from only shellfish either, this is also found in certain mammals (Tasmanian Devil and Dogs). The big question is, what if this happens to humans? The Tasmanian Devils are an endangered species because of it, but dogs' immune systems can destroy the cells with ease. Now we are facing an unknown that may be scary but at the same time, it opens a whole new door. Dr. Metzger expresses that this could be a way to uncover secrets about cancer which could help other animals and people as well. A potential breakthrough in medical technology would be astounding and may save numerous lives one day.



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