Found the first remains of a dinosaur that died from cancer

Found the first remains of a dinosaur that died from cancer

you May have seen centrosaurus in documentary films

Millions of years ago in the canadian province of Alberta lived in a huge variety of dinosaurs. Especially many of centrosaurus (Centrosaurus apertus), which was a horned creature the size of a cow. Even today, scientists are finding thousands of bones of these dinosaurs, but excavated about 30 years ago, the instance has attracted the attention of researchers most of all. Initially, the fragment of feet aged about 77 million years thought they bad recovered after breaking his form was changed beyond recognition. Having made this finding, the researchers put the find in a Museum and forgotten. But recently one of the professors of the University of Toronto decided to re-study the bone and made a very right decision. It turned out that it was not damaged by the fracture, and aggressive form of cancer, which is known as osteosarcoma. A new discovery has revealed more details about the origin of the deadly disease and the life of centrosaurus.

The scientific Results were published in science . To find out what exactly caused the change form is located on the lower leg the tibia, Professor David Evans (David Evans) conducted a study with the participation of experts over the bones and cancer. They immediately suspected the deformity could be caused by cancer, so I decided to diagnose the disease. They approached this case as well, if their "patient" was a man. First, they studied the bone structure by computed tomography which allowed to look at her insides. Then they examined the damaged parts of the bones under a microscope. All the detected features point to the fact that the dinosaur — aggressive form of bone cancer.

the Left shows slices of the bone affected by osteosarcoma. Right — slices of healthy bones

To verify this, the researchers compared the affected bone with the bones healthy centrosaurus and people with the same kind of cancer. When doubt remains, they recreated the process of cancer development within a computer model. The image below shows a yellow tumor degeneration in the upper part of the tibia. According to David Evans, at the time of death of a dinosaur, the tumor had grown to the size of an Apple. The disease is so changed the shape of the bones of the ancient animal was clearly difficult to walk and it was very weak. It is not excluded that the cancer has spread to other organs up to the light.

3D-model of the damaged bone of a dinosaur

With all this, scientists believe that the cause of death of centrosaur was not the disease. His bones were found among the remains of several other dinosaurs of the same species. Rather, they drowned in the flood. This means that these horned creatures lived in herds and this way of life gives them a long life. This is evidenced by at least the fact that even a weakened dinosaur from the affected bone has managed to live quite a long time.

This is not the first time the dinosaurs showed traces of cancer. But this find is unique in that the lesion was discovered and proven in several ways so that the accuracy of diagnosis did not have any doubt. But in many other cases, to diagnose a cancer is quite difficult because the tumors are striking soft tissue. And they tend to quickly decompose, leaving behind no trace. Bones, in turn, decompose for a very long time and allow you to learn a lot about the lives of ancient creatures. A case of osteosarcoma has been found in ancient animals so for the first time.

Sometimes centrosaur fought with each other. Here's how it looked in the artist's imagination.

Thanks to the new discovery, scientists now know that an aggressive form of cancer there are at least 77 million years ago. After additional research, they can find out more details about the evolution of cancer. Perhaps someday this knowledge will allow scientists to develop an effective drug or method of treatment, which will annually save millions of people from different parts of the world.

About how scientists are going to develop a cure for cancer, you can read . It tells about one of the popular drugs to slow the spread of cancer cells, which in future can become much cheaper than it is now.


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