Navigation Links
CSIRO scientists join fight to save 'Tassie devil'

CSIRO scientists have joined the battle to save Australia’s iconic Tasmanian devils from the deadly cancer currently devastating devil populations.

Researchers from CSIRO’s Livestock Industries’ Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), Textiles and Fibre Technology and Land and Water, are working together to hunt down the cause of Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) and possibly develop a test to identify infected animals.

DFTD is infectious and is thought to be passed between animals by biting when, for example, devils compete for food. Once the cancer becomes visible and spreads internally through the body, the animal usually dies within a few months from starvation and the breakdown of body functions.

The integrated research team at AAHL will use a variety of techniques including microscopy, microarrays and a range of molecular techniques to search for infectious agents, markers for disease and to determine where the tumours originate.

“We will be working in a number of areas including establishing whether a virus or other infectious agents are associated with the tumours,” AAHL’s Dr Alex Hyatt said. “If successful, the establishment of pre-clinical tests will allow researchers to remove known infected devils, in turn limiting the spread of the disease.”

To date AAHL scientists have processed and examined 29 lesions from 12 affected animals and have also collected and processed a further 30 affected animals where both tumour tissue and tumours grown in the laboratory were examined.

A recent Senior Scientist’s Scientific Forum on the DFTD reviewed progress in understanding and managing the disease and set an agenda for future research and management.

“The aim is to stop the disease in it tracks and we want to bring our experience of controlling infectious diseases to the research community involved to help achieve this,” Dr Hyatt said.

A chemist and Spectroscopist at CSIRO T extiles and Fibre Technology, Dr Jeff Church, is investigating the Tasmanian devil’s hair to determine if any chemical or structural changes can be detected that can be correlated with the disease.

“We are hoping we can work together to develop a pre-clinical diagnostic test based on recent developments in the diagnosis of human breast cancer,” Dr Church said. “Such a test would enable the screening of captured animals prior to their release into the wild or placement into isolated breeding populations.” Dr Church and his team will look to extend their work using the Australian synchrotron infrared beam line when it comes on-line later this year.

Steve Marvanek, Spatial Data Analyst at CSIRO Land and Water, integrated historical wildlife spotlight data, devil monitoring data and geo-referenced reports of diseased devils into a geographical information system (GIS) to map the spatial and temporal distribution of the disease across Tasmania.

“The result of my work was a map showing the spread of DFTD over time and some spatial statistics correlating the frequency of devils and diseased individuals with different landscapes or land uses,” Mr Marvanek said.

Dr Hyatt said helping the Tassie devil to survive the DFTD threat was crucial, not just because it is a major tourism attraction but also to ensure devils continue to play the vital role they have in maintaining Tasmania’s environmental balance.

Other collaborators include: the Department of Primary Industries and Water (DPIW) and the University of Tasmania (UT).


'"/>

Source:CSIRO Australia


Related biology news :

1. CSIRO imagery shows Outer Great Barrier Reef at risk from river plumes
2. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
3. UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth
4. UAB scientists discover the origin of a mysterious physical force
5. Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists identify immune-system mutation
6. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a new approach for directing treatment to metastasized prostate cancer in the bones.
7. U-M scientists find genes that control growth of common skin cancer
8. UCLA scientists transform HIV into cancer-seeking missile
9. RNA project to create language for scientists worldwide
10. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop tool that uses MRI to visualize gene expression in living animals
11. To control germs, scientists deploy tiny agents provocateurs

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/15/2016)... , June 15, 2016 ... report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry ... - 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture ... in 2015 and is estimated to grow at ... billion by 2024.  Increasing application of ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) of ... Dollar project, for the , Supply and Delivery ... IT Infrastructure , to Decatur ... Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated in the ... was selected for the most compliant and innovative solution. The ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to ... VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt and ... VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to ... both security and usability. ... this new partnership. "This marketing and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Mass. , June 23, 2016   ... development of novel compounds designed to target cancer ... napabucasin, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from ... the treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction ... stemness inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased ... and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case ... Denmark detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer ... could change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer ...
Breaking Biology Technology: