A week or so ago, Ann Maree Pearce, a government cytogeneticist from Australia's island state, Tasmania, and colleagues said in a Nature news report that a nasty facial cancer affecting the Tasmanian devil population, dubbed Devil Facial Tumour Disease, was in fact an infective cell line being passed between the ferocious, foxed-sized scavengers via bites and so on. At the linkurl:18th Lorne Cancer Conference Erskine on the Beach;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/23110/ in Lorne, Australia, Pearce explained how she had initially tried performing a chromosomal analysis of samples taken from numerous devils across the island in the hope of spotting a common breakpoint. She found to her surprise that they were identical in every case, regardless of whether the host animal was male or female. It was only when they came across Errol (named in honor of the famous Tasmanian actor Errol Flynn) a devil with a pericentric inversion on chromosome 5, that the...

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