Posted: 9:18 p.m. Thursday, June 20, 2013
By Rick Couri
It’s called the naked mole rat and unless you’re a fan of the cartoon Kim Possible you may have never heard of one.
You might want to give them a little love
Naked mole rats, ugly as they are, seem to be immune to cancer and researchers are paying attention.
The journal Nature reports that 95% of lab rats die when infected with cancer cells but not a single mole rat died.
Doctors think the rodents have a cell sensitivity and a sugar, called hyaluronan that prevents the formation of tumors and the spread of the disease.
Biologists Vera Gorbunova and Andrei Seluanov told the New York Times"we think this mechanism could be moved into humans," exciting many who have been working on cancer for years.
Hyaluronan’s main function is to hold cells together and it also resides in humans.
What the researchers found out was the hyaluronan in mole rates is 20% longer, possibly helping fight tumors.