A look at the rodent that may help humans fight cancer
Could you recognize this animal at first glance?
Some may not consider it beautiful, isn't it weirdly cute?
Seen from behind, it looks just like a furry wireless mouse.
This is a lesser mole-rat (Spalax leucodon) in Igdir, Turkey. Lesser mole rat's eyes are hidden by a layer of skin, causing them to be blind. In fact, they do not need eyes: mole-rats live underground and are highly adapted to their subterranean way of life. They use strong front paws to dig complex burrows, and gnaw plant roots and tubers with their big front teeth.
One cool thing about these cute species is their resistance to cancer. Scientists have found that mole-rats rarely get cancer, and their lifespans are pretty long for rodents of such a small size. Another species of mole-rats, the naked mole-rat, can survive up to 18 minutes without oxygen. Research teams are still studying their "superpower," hoping to find some way to help humans fight cancer.
(Images via CFP)
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