BATS may hold vital clues to beating cancer, a study has revealed.
Research shows that rapid evolution in the creatures could explain their ability to both host and survive infections — as well as avoid cancer.
Scientists, writing for the Genome Biology and Evolution journal, studied the Jamaican fruit bat and the Mesoamerican mustached bat.
They compared their genetic sequencing with a diverse collection of bats and other mammals.
The team found a number of notable genetic adaptations in the bats — including 46 that were cancer-related.
Dr Armin Scheben, from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the US, said: “By generating these new bat genomes and comparing them to other mammals we continue to find extraordinary new adaptations in antiviral and anticancer genes.”
“These investigations are the first step towards translating research on the unique biology of bats into insights relevant to treating diseases, such as cancer, in humans.”