Environmental Sciences

Are We Humans Oncogenic to Wild Animals ?

You all must be knowing what impact we homo sapiens are having on this earth, be it overpopulating the earth, pollution,  stealing and destroying the habitat of other species etc.  Not only this is affecting our environment but also these activities can cause cancer in our bodies by smoking, poor diets, pollution, chemicals used as additives in food and personal hygiene products.

We the humans are destroying their habitat and polluting the environment and whats new is that the human species is causing cancer in wild animals too.

According to this new research led by the Researchers from Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences thinks that our human activities are also causing cancer in wild animals which means we are acting like oncogenic species.

In a paper published online today in “Nature Ecology & Evolution,” Mathieu Giraudeau and Tuul Sepp, both postdoctoral researchers in the lab of ASU life sciences professor Kevin McGraw, say that humans are changing the environment in a way that causes cancer in wild animal populations.

“We know that some viruses can cause cancer in humans by changing the environment that they live in — in their case, human cells — to make it more suitable for themselves,” said Sepp. “Basically, we are doing the same thing. We are changing the environment to be more suitable for ourselves, while these changes are having a negative impact on many species on many different levels, including the probability of developing cancer.”

Previous studies indicate that human activities already affecting other species by activities like includes chemical and physical pollution in our oceans and waterways, accidental release of radiation into the atmosphere from nuclear plants, and the accumulation of microplastics in both lands- and water-based environments. Moreover, those animals getting exposed pesticides and herbicides on farmlands, artificial light pollution are already facing a loss of genetic diversity and animals eating human food are known to cause health problems.

Previous study analyses and compares various aspects of human impact on wild environments and found strong influence and prevalence of cancer in wild populations with additional consequences on ecosystem functioning.

One of the researchers Tuul said that there are many species which are threatened or will be threatened if humans are the cause of cancer in wild animals.

It is a sad thing that though we know the solution of this problem and takes effective measures like stop destroying the habitats of wild animals, not pollute the environment, and feed wild animals’ human food, but we are not doing it which makes it seem even more hopeless.

“But I see hope in education. Our kids are learning a lot more about conservation issues than our parents did. So, there is hope that the decision-makers of the future will be more mindful of the anthropogenic effects on the environment.”


The BioScientist

The BioScientist is a platform for biological and biomedical thinker which covers the innovative technologies and scientific discoveries in the field of Biosciences.

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