PNRI’s Metzger Lab and collaborators from across the globe recently launched a study investigating how a virus-like cancer spreads among basket cockles on the Pacific Coast and soft-shell clams on the Atlantic Coast. The cancer spreads quickly and has killed entire shellfish populations. Locally, it dramatically reduced the Pacific Northwest cockle population and, as a result, impacted the Native American communities who rely on them as traditional food sources.
“If successful, we will come away with a far better understanding of how to prevent these transmissible cancers from decimating vulnerable marine species.”Michael Metzger, PhD
Explore the media stories below to learn how PNRI’s Metzger Lab applies cutting-edge genetics research to understand how the cancer evolves and why some species resist developing it.
- The Seattle Times: Researchers rush to find cause of contagious cancer in PNW clams
- KING 5 TV News: Researchers discover transmissible cancers in several shellfish species on the east and west coasts
- Voice of America: Researchers Studying Cancer in Wildlife Grapple With Why Some Get the Disease While Others Don’t
- Northwest Treaty Tribes Magazine: Cancer found in cockles
Learn more about the Metzger Lab’s National Science Foundation-funded study at: Contagious Cancer in Shellfish Sparks Investigation by International Team of Scientists.