It was found that the chromosomes appeared different from those found in the normal cells of the animal and more similar to those found within the growth of the tumor in other Tasmanian devils. Belov along with her fellows compared Deoxyribonucleic acid samples from twenty-six healthy and sick Tasmanian devils with the Deoxyribonucleic acid of the tumors in 2007. They determined that cancer cells from diverse animals shared distinguishing genetic markers that were not detected in the animals. This work was further investigated by a team of American and Australian scientists by making use of more powerful technology of gene-sequencing to have a closer view of numerous Tasmanian devils. In order to trace the initiation of the tumors, individual cancer cells were studied by the scientists and the recording was made for the active genes. 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.
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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