Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 29 Issue 02

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Volume 29, No. 2
Pages 12 - 13


RIPPLE MARKS • It’s Catching: Leukemia, Third Known Transmissible Cancer, Infects Soft-Shell Clams

By Cheryl Lyn Dybas  
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It sounds like the plot of a summer horror flick: malignant cells floating in the sea, ferrying infectious cancer everywhere they go. The story is all too true, say scientists who’ve made a discovery they call “beyond surprising.” Outbreaks of leukemia that have devastated populations of soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) along the east coast of the United States and Canada are the result of cancerous tumor cells making their way from one clam to another. The finding was reported in 2015 in the journal Cell. 


Dybas, C.L. 2016. Ripple marks—The story behind the story. Oceanography 29(2):12–13, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2016.28.

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