Did you know your best friend could accidentally murder you by invading you with tiny unicellular clones of themselves? It’s probably already happened to someone.

I know we already had a couple of examples of cancers that could move from animal to animal by means of contact and without any vector. Just ...a contagious cancer. Already pretty weird stuff, right?

We’ve got one that’s killing a whole bunch of Tasmanian devils, which really kind of sucks, another that likes hamsters, and don’t get me started on how horridorable Cloney, the Tiniest Puppy is

But with the leukemia that jumps from clam to clam it all just clicked and became terrifyingly awesome.

Remember all that stuff about how we all can make specialized cells, even though each of those cells has the same DNA? And they can be pretty tough and sophisticated little guys.

Every cell in your body knows how to do all of these things. Clams aren’t nearly as fancy as us, of course (they don’t have adaptive immune systems), but they still have a good suite of tricks.

Advertisement

So, basically, the clam cancer is a clam’s blood cell that went rogue and now part of it’s life cycle includes invading a host that it’s uniquely qualified to exploit.

Right?

My brain is so happy right now.

If I only also didn’t just realize that the dog cancer is basically a puppy that’s achieved immortality by becoming an STD for pretty much anything in the same genetic family.

Advertisement

I’m a little confused about how I’m supposed to feel about the Immortal Puppy Plague.