Kangaroos May Hold Skin Cancer Cure


kangaroosHow can scientists help humans avoid the scourge of skin cancer? One possible answer has now jumped out at an Australian research team: a DNA repair enzyme found in kangaroos.

Researchers at Melbourne University have been studying the enzyme, which can also be found in some bacteria and fish, said French news agency AFP. Although the enzyme does not make kangaroos immune to skin cancer, it does give them added protection from the sun’s rays.

Scientist Linda Feketeova and her colleague Uta Wille are working with another team at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, reported AFP. They are focusing on the possibility that sun-damaged human DNA can be fixed using the kangaroo model.

“Other research teams have proposed a ‘dream cream’ containing the DNA repair enzyme, which you could slap on your skin after a day in the sun,” Feketeova told AFP. “We are now examining whether this would be feasible by looking at the chemistry behind the DNA repair system.”

Still, as Feketeova told The Age, such a “dream cream” is at least a decade away. The scientist doubted that human trials could even begin within five years.

“Research is still in its early stages, and there is still much to investigate,” she told the paper. “So people should stick with sun cream in the meantime.”

{AOL News/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}