The sand puppy (more commonly but less endearingly known as the naked mole-rat) is a rodent species native to East Africa. Among several distinctive features1 of this animal is the fact that it almost never gets cancer. Recent studies have thrown some light on the mechanisms responsible for this unique phenomenon.2 Further research may help us prevent the disease in humans as well. That would be a significant milestone for humanity!
- Rochelle Buffenstein, The Naked Mole-Rat: A New Long-Living Model for Human Aging Research, The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, Volume 60, Issue 11, November 2005, Pages 1369–1377, https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/60.11.1369
- Hadi, F., Kulaberoglu, Y., Lazarus, K.A. et al. Transformation of naked mole-rat cells. Nature 583, E1–E7 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2410-x