The first signs of skin cancer observed in representatives of wild fish. Disease detected in the inhabitants of the Great Barrier Reef, presumably caused by ultraviolet radiation passing through the ozone hole, which is located in this place.
Earlier researchers melanoma provoke the fish in the laboratory, since their shape which is similar to human disease. But the manifestation of the disease in the natural environment has never before been observed.
This phenomenon in the wild for the first time, biologists noticed the Institute of Marine Sciences of Australia.
By studying the sharks of the Great Barrier Reef, they noticed in their digestive tract of three species of fish with strange dark spots. Initially, researchers have put forward the theory that spot formed due to infection by the fungus.
Scientists have sent samples for examination to the University of Newcastle, but their British counterparts have not found spores of fungal infection in these spots. Having done a thorough analysis of the water in the area of catch, they found that the pollution could be the cause of the disease. Then biologists suspected melanoma.
Capture of 136 species of coral salmon (Plectropomus leopardus) and analysis of skin blemishes scientists confirmed the suspicion: 20 representatives of this kind of suffering from melanoma.
After catching a few fish to the bait with signs of melanoma, biologists noticed a mild form that hit only the upper layers of the skin. Scientists think that with the progression of the disease activity in fish is reduced, and they are beginning to get the sharks for lunch.
"In the future we will endeavor to find the exact cause of the cancer. Know that this is not implicated in any water and any microbes that was more truthful theory of ultraviolet radiation, - the head of the group of biologists Michael Sweet in a press release of the University of Newcastle. - Research disease in wild fish populations is costly and time consuming, because it is difficult to believe when it manifested itself. Currently known widespread melanoma in three varieties Plectropomus leopardus, but not surprising when you manifest the disease and its other species. "
To date, skin cancer is manifested only in fish from the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef, but can new research possibilities will expand the area of distribution of the disease. In addition, it is not clear whether this fish is dangerous for human consumption.
News prepared by: A. CHirkova