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PostSubject: Print Maximize Chickens could lead fight against cancer    Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:29 am

Chickens could lead fight against cancer


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The common chicken could provide some very uncommon clues for combating diseases like cancer


In a study appearing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists,James Womack,co-author the paper and his team claim that a substance from chickens could possible fight cancer.
James Womack had previously been a leader in the international effort to sequence the cattle genome in 2004.
The team,comprised mostly of scientists from the Seoul National University in Korea,examined 62 White Leghorn and 53 Cornish chickens for diversity in NK-lysin,an antibacterial substance that occurs naturally in animals and is used as a method of fighting off diseases.
The researchers were able to obtain two genetic variations of NK-lysin and the results offered two unexpected shockers: both showed tremendous abilities to fight off bacterial infections and other diseases,while one even showed that it could successfully fight cancer cells as well.
It took all of us by surprise, Womack says of the findings.
One of the genetic variations shows it has the ability to fight against cancer cells much more aggressively than the other known variation.We certainly were not looking at the cancer side of this,but there it was.
Womack says the research team selected the two breeds of chicken specifically because Cornish and White Leghorn chickens,found throughout the world including India,have relatively diverse genetic origins.
After conducting a DNA sequence of the chickens,the team found two variations of the genes that offered clues as to their protective ability to ward off infections.
One form appears to be more potent in killing off cancer cells than the other,and thats the one that naturally caught our eye, Womack adds.
This could lead to other steps to fight cancer or in developing ways to prevent certain infections or even diseases, he added.
Its another door that has been opened up.We are looking at similar studies right now to see if this is possible with cattle.
According to Womack,the next step is to work with other animals and see if similar variants exist.
We need to look for any genetic similarities to the chicken variants and then determine if these variants affect the health of the animal,but this is an exciting first step in this direction.
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