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The Forum > General Discussion > My concerns about Tassie Devil Cancer Research.

My concerns about Tassie Devil Cancer Research.

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There are so many ways that I wish to express my dismay regarding the type of
Genetic Research we are conducting with regard to Tasmanian Devils and facial
tumour disease.

In first instance, the whole research program it is based on a false premise and is just plain stupid.

"Never would one find, a greater example of "Genetic Science playing God to save us all"
(or in this case, all the devils), than this one.

The theory is, "that we should inject live cancer cells of the type infecting all the other devils in Tasmania
into an existing healthy test animal an see if it gets cancer"?.

Purportedly we are searching for an immune response from the poor hapless test animal
in order that we develop a vaccine.

I think, that it is a given, that all we are actually doing with this whole approach
is finding new ways for endangered species to acquire cancer.!

Why are the Tassie Devils in Tasmania affected, but those on the mainland, not so?.
Could this be an environmental factor for example?.

We do know from existing research that there are things/substances etc that can and do cause cancer.
Perhaps there is a contaminant or cause present in the Tasmanian wilderness
that is not present on the mainland.

In sickening promotions over this research program by the ABC, about Cedric the poor devil injected with live cancer," because he hadn't got it so far", we hear of his demise again, and in the tag on todays story, "researchers were saying they have to be careful not to get too attached to the test animals but they all have names and personalities of their own. We were also left assured that there were more devils where Cedric came from.

If your going to inject live cancer in to an otherwise healthy creature, "it will get cancer".

It is the constant promotion of this blight on humanity by the ABC has urged my need for discussion about this subject.
Posted by thinker 2, Friday, 24 September 2010 5:45:51 PM
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ok..i will throw-in..my thinking on/the issue
recall...that the top/meat-eating-carnavors..like the bald-eagle[usa]...and the corpse-eating vulture's..of india..both had strong..enviromental..causes

the bald-eagle..nearly got wipped-out..via ddt..
[weakening..their egg-shells]...

and the vulture..[near-extinction-cause..
turned-out..to be an..anti-biotic..fed to sick-cows
[1/100..was enough]..

now..the tassie-devil/thing...just seems suss
i seem to recall...they drop fox-baits
as well as poisend/carrots..
to protect..the new-growth plantion/timber[seedlings]

[on old-growth/lands..gifted..to poisening/vandels
simply for the..'service'..of clear-felling/burning..
some/of..the most..amasing for-rests..in oz]

its like the govt/..has got gun's...
pointed-at their heads

anyhow...im betting..the cause
is either the fox-baits/or poisend carrots...
[killing..its targeted/species..

and the carnivour..
simply doing..what god meant-it..to/be doing

so there you go

never-the-less..pumping..cancer..into them
mate you cant beat science-peers..pro=fessing

who allow those pro-fessionals..to profess...
when they should be on..their/knees...con-fessing

just out of curiosity...
what is the family/genus...near-relitive
[ancestor]..of the tassie-demon?

seems..myu faith in science has fallen..so low
they just might be trying to kill-off..
some of the messy..bits from the tree-of/life

[that refute their evil-lution..tree of life]

by the by...the nearest relitive..
to the platy-puss.is the echidna..
yet another..evolutionary conundrum

wonder where..the tasie-tiger/
fit..into the cannus/genus

anyhow..ignore my musings
just trying to satisfy...two adgendas..of mine..at the same/time

lets get..onto this..tassie/demon-issue

and hope govts get's..immume..
to gunns..to/their..2 party-susstem
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 25 September 2010 5:26:43 PM
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I am no scientist, so I won't presume to understand what they are trying to do to save the Tasmanian devil.
I imagine the scientists are trying to save the species in the only way they know how- by experimentation and research.

Some, often ignorant, people have scoffed at what scientists have tried to do for many generations now. These same people still line up for their antibiotics and immunisations though don't they?

We don't have to understand exactly what they do, to know that they have saved countless millions of lives over the years.

I say, wait awhile and see the results before you start flogging the scientists who are trying to save the Tasmanian devils.
Posted by suzeonline, Saturday, 25 September 2010 6:16:02 PM
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The answer is simple. But it needs 7.4 million dollars for it to happen. Its like aids. Quarantine all that are unaffected in breeding programs as there doing, in great success has happened, but the funding like anything else is just not there. The natural species that are infected needs to die out as unfortunately as the circumstances around the problem has to be isolated hence the quarantine i have just mentioned is the only way to perpetuate the species safely as im sure i dont have to point out any further.

Once this is done and a 5 year check that the virus or pathogen which ever be the case is for sure eradicated and only then shall the captive species with our help will be returned to the wild.

Thank you for your concern.

By the way, loved the program.

TTM
Posted by think than move, Saturday, 25 September 2010 8:23:42 PM
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Thinker 2, it is great that you concerned about this issue. Good thread too. OLO could do with more discussions of this sort.

I donít know if you are right or wrong, but my gut feeling is that those people who are trying to find a cure for this terrible disease or a way of preventing it from wiping out Tassie devils are doing all that they can.

This bizarre disease requires quite drastic action. The use of a very small number of healthy animals that may ultimately die of the cancer given to them by humans is probably justifiable in the circumstances if it seems like a promising way, or the only real way, or a possible way if there are no other promising avenues, of finding a cure or prevention.

Sure we are playing god here. But, whatís the alternative? To just let the species die out in the wild? Arenít we obligated to do all we can to save this amazing animal?

Perhaps an environmental contaminant has caused this cancer. But surely this is part of the research.

<< Why are the Tassie Devils in Tasmania affected, but those on the mainland, not so? >>

The only ones on the mainland are in zoos and wildlife parks and the like, arenít they? These are totally isolated from wild devils. So of course they are not going to have this cancer.

Iím just pleased to see a whole lot of effort being put into this issue. There are so many other endangered species in Australia that are getting nowhere near as much attention or funding. And of course, the spread of weeds and feral animals and all manner of other environmental pressures just continues to get worse.

Very few issues of this sort are getting anywhere near the attention they deserve. The Tassie devil IS getting a whole of attention. So I think that as far as the devil is concerned, we should be pretty happy with thisÖÖ..and just hope to goodness that this facial cancer can be eradicated before the species is eradicated.
Posted by Ludwig, Saturday, 25 September 2010 9:28:45 PM
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Thank you UOG, Suze, ttm and Ludwig for all your interesting and balanced views.
I hope you don't think of me as some sort of "flat earth-er" Suzeonline,
because I see my own attitude to science as progressive and have been since Darwin.
I most definitely appreciate any scientific endeavour that improves our world.

The problem I have with this particular type of genetic/medical research is that expecting any test animal
to show resistance to an injection of live cancer cells is probably a big ask.

The spread of FTD is attributed to the devils, having a habit of biting each other during feeding and apparently mating.

This implies that FTD is a contagion of sorts.
I don't think this accurate and I repeat that
"we know that exposure to external things/substances etc can and do cause cancer".

I haven't heard of any other forms of cancer spreading in a virus like fashion, hence the unproven biting explanation I guess.
If? FTD's are spread by a wild form of injecting live cancer cells through biting, then we should prove this before we start injecting animals
with the very same cancer to make sure the job is done.

Isn't this just ludicrous and not really of any scientific value.
But in fact an exercise in frivolous genetic tinkering at the expense of an endangered species.

I think we should go back to source, and look for any possible cause for the spread of FTD
in Tassie Devils other than the devils themselves.
Posted by thinker 2, Saturday, 25 September 2010 10:20:58 PM
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