This blog is currently on hiatus owing to work commitments. Whilst I still keep an eye on the goings on at RiAus, and contribute to the work of the good folks at eLife, little will be added to this blog for the foreseeable future. Simon Says remains open for business, albeit at a reduced capacity. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope the archive of content found here will prove to be of interest.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Transmissible cancer

I'VE been planning that Tasmanian Devil post for months, and spent much of the last few weeks researching, writing and tweaking it. So I was bemused to walk into work this morning, days after finally releasing it on the world, to find in our office a copy of the most recent Wellcome News, the cover of which is Elizabeth Murchison holding a Tasmanian devil skull. Inside is an article written by Murchison herself (part autobiography, part summary of research) and another entitled Catching Cancer, a feature on transmissible cancers and how they go against conventional thinking. I was wrong in one respect before: there are more than two known cases of transmissible cancer. I knew of the Tasmanian devil and of dogs, but it is not unheard of in hamsters and has been shown to be possible in us. The article is an excellent summary and I direct you there for your interest. Happy Monday :)

Source: Wellcome Trust newsletter Issue 62


  1. Hi Simon - I'm the author of the two Wellcome News articles you mention above - great minds think alike! Nice post, and thanks for linking to our site! Chrissie

  2. Hey! Thanks for finding me and your kind words. Maybe we should collaborate and co-publish articles again?! :)