Framed: The tumour that killed Dolly the sheep
(Image: Henny Martineau/Moredun Research Institute)
Call it CSI: Farmyard. This image of an early-stage tumour nodule (shown green) in the lung of a sheep may throw new light on the disease that killed the most famous of sheep of modern times, Dolly.
Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA) is an infectious form of cancer that is usually present in 2 to 3 per cent of a flock, but can affect up to up to 30 per cent of those carrying the disease. OPA develops when sheep become infected by the Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus but the precise mechanisms behind the development of the disease are yet to be fully understood.
By studying OPA researchers hope to improve our understanding of the development of the cancer. The results are also relevant to human lung cancer for which samples of early stage tumour growth are difficult to obtain.