Tasmanian devils have been threatened with extinction because of devil facial tumor disease, a fast spreading cancer. In the past 10 years the population of devils has declined by 60% as a result of the fast spreading disease.
Researchers have found that the tumors are spread through physical contact between devils, most likely biting to the face.
Researchers have also found that cells that are meant to protect nerves are likely the origin of the disease. The implications of this discovery have not been fully realized yet but may include new ways to test for the disease and a potential for an eventual vaccine.
Read more about the discovery at the BBC.
Read more about the Tasmanian devil at Animal Fact Guide.