A set of genes that were found to be usually active only in Schwann cells (nerve cells) was discovered by the scientists. It was argued by them that only one single Schwann cell in an individual animal was the found to be the progenitor of the entire DFTD (Devil facial tumor disease) cells (Zimmer).In areas where the disease is widespread, almost all sexually mature, of more than two years of age; Tasmanian devils turned infected and surrendered to the disease along with as young as a year old juveniles may also get infected. The resulting populations have a younger age-structure providing only a single breeding event to the females which used to have three normally.DFTD seems to be a cloned cell line, that is transmitted (usually by biting) in the form of an allograft from one devil to another and this transmission may be found similar to that in CTVT (Canine transmissible venereal tumor) and a communicable sarcoma infecting Syrian hamsters. The biology and prevalence of such vegetative cell parasites is typically unknown. The examinations of captivated Tasmanian devils suggest that this species has a tendency to develop tumors, specifically carcinomas. Devil Facial Tumor Disease.
Bostanci, Adam. "A Devil of a Disease". Science 307.5712 : 1035. Print.
Pearse, A. M. and Swift, K. "Allograft theory: Transmission of devil facial-tumor disease". Nature 439. 707 : 549. Print.
Zimmer, Carl. “Scientists Discover Origin of a Cancer in Tasmanian Devils.” The New York Times. 31 Dec. 2009. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.
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