Oceania it is a unique continent due to its large content of truly special endemic species. This can be seen in the presence of animals as extravagant platypus, kookaburra or pink fish with handsYes, yes, fish with your hands!
If, compared to a bird mammal, a bird whose song resembles a laugh of human laughter or a fish whose hand-shaped flippers allow her to walk on the seabed, Tasmanian Devil It may seem very normal. However, behind that marsupial The size of a small dog, with a wide head, thick tail and black hair, hides a large number of curiosities that make it an animal that is worth living among plains and fish with their hands.
The species that protects
They say that Tasmanian Devil was thus baptized the first European colonizers, which compared him with the devil because of terrifying whistling which emits each night during hunting. Although you could find in the past across Australia, currently only one wild population lives island of Tasmania, located in the south of the country. Even this population has declined significantly over the last two decades due to a a curious contagious tumorthat affects yours face and passes to the rest of the body until it causes their death.
It was discovered in 1996 and has since been estimated to have ended 80% of Tasmanian demons populations, It could be extinguished if it was not, because some of them are curious to have the ability to resist illness, a surviving tumor that eventually ends with healing as if it were cold. This fact has earned the attention of the team of scientists from University of Washington, which came out in 2016 in 2004 Natural communication a study in which they described the investigations they performed with these incisors. Finally, this week, a new publication of the same team is being analyzed genetic causes of this resistance.
Infectious tumors are particularly rare. In fact, except a tumor of the face which smoothes Tasmanian demons, there is only evidence of two others: benign, which affects dogs, and other similar leukemia that attacks clams and shells, However, human beings do not suffer from this tumor, does not mean that their studies can not be beneficial to us. In fact, according to researchers, some of the genes that appear to be involved in regurgitation of Australian diabolic tumors are shared with people, so his study could lead to development in the future medicines that help fight cancer,
Milk to fight with superbugs
Simply, the fact that it is able to provide the necessary keys to understanding the mechanisms involved in the regression of the tumor makes this animal a very interesting species. But the thing is not over your milk It also has a lot to teach scientists.
Some peptides present in milk have an interesting bactericidal force
Specifically, it is very useful as a weapon in one of the worst fights that a human being has to fight throughout his history: superbugs, Podle Spanish Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Products, 3000 people they die each year in Spain for these bacteria that have evolved over time resist antibiotic attack. Therefore, it is vital to find alternative methods of fighting them before the catastrophe becomes even bigger. Many researchers are looking for work Bactericidal substances present in nature, often generated plants and animals typical of the most basic places in the world. And of course, our friend could not miss it Tasmanian Devil, This application of the ovary was discovered by a team of researchers from 2016 University of Sydney, by analyzing some peptides present in the milk.
As with other offspring, descendants Tasmanian Devil were born in a very early stage of development and theirs the first days of life, a hundred in his case, inside and bag located in the female body. It does that with his immune system without any improvement, are continually exposed to possible external infections caused bacteria or fungiTherefore, it is very important that the milk your mother is breastfeeding with has a "secret ingredient" to help them fight. This power lies in milk peptides, which are the sets of amino acids present in the milk of all mammals, with a very uneven distribution. In fact, human milk contains only one, whereas for these animals You can have up to six,
After checking yours antimicrobial potentialThese Australian scientists were able to synthesize peptides in the laboratory and then test them for cultures of different bacteria. Specifically, they have delivered very good results Staphylococcus aureus multi-resistant, superbug par excellence and also in Enterococcus resistant to vancomycin,
Of course, the Tasmanian devil is quite good oddlyBut what can we human beings do without them?
More articles from Science