Can Ordinary Chickens Fight Cancer?

Recent research reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that the common barnyard chicken could provide clues for fighting off disease including new ways to attack cancer. Researchers examined 62 White Leghorn and 53 Cornish chickens for diversity in NK-lysin, an antibacterial substance that occurs naturally in animals and is used as a method for fighting diseases. They found 2 genetic variations of NK-lysin and both showed the ability to fight off bacterial infections and other diseases but one showed additional  success in fighting off cancer cells as well.  Further study of the cancer fighting ability of  the one genetic variation of NK-lysin may lead to other steps useful in preventing  cancer. More research is ongoing and includes looking at other animals to see if similar variants exist.

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