Episode Summary

Simple microscopic animals can survive extreme radiation by ejecting damaged cells that might otherwise become cancer!

Microbe of the episode:

Helleborus net necrosis virus

News Item

Jesse's takeaways

Any multicellular organism with different types of cells needs some sort of cell regulation, to keep each cell type doing what it’s supposed to do for the good of the organism as a whole. We know what happens when this regulation fails and one type of cells starts multiplying out of control: cancer.

However, cancer has never yet been observed in certain organisms, including the simple microscopic animal Trichoplax adhaerens. In this study, these animals are exposed to large amounts of radiation and then observed over years to see if they can develop cancer or have interesting mechanisms of resisting it.

Journal Paper

Other interesting stories:

T. adhaerens