naked mole rat

Does African Rat Have the Cure to Cancer?

This may be one of those “too good to be true” stories.  But if it is true, they “say to never look a gift horse, I mean rat, in the mouth.”

Researchers are beginning to study Naked mole rats due to them being cancer resistant and being able to live more than 30 years.  Scientists are using the hairless, nearly blind animals to study everything from aging to cancer to strokes.  Bucktoothed with pinkish skin, naked mole rats resemble wrinkled spring rolls with tiny legs. But while they look fragile, naked mole rats are more like tiny, tube-shaped stuntmen.

A study in next month’s journal NeuroReport says the brains of adult naked mole rats can withstand oxygen deprivation for a half-hour or more.  Scientists say that knowledge could eventually help in stroke research.

To read more about Naked mole rats and what they can do for cancer research, check out this Boston Globe article.

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