Have a Question?
Q: What roles do nudibranchs play in fighting cancer?
A: Nudibranchs eat things that are poisonous and incorporate the toxins into their own bodies. We’re finding some of these chemicals are very effective at suppressing cell growth. Other nudibranchs that feed on jellyfish and their relatives have specialized organelles that can absorb those stinging cells. Once those cells undergo maturation within the nudibranch, they can utilize these qualities for their own defense. The FDA is conducting clinical trials on cancer-fighting medicine developed from nudibranchs, but they’re not yet certified.
More about Dr. Gosliner
Invertebrate Zoology and Geology
- Some Recent Expeditions: Saudi Arabia (the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden), Philippine Biodiversity Expedition
- Chat with an Academy Scientist
- BioForum: Using Data to Infer Climatic Shifts on CA Coast
- Hearst Expedition to the Philippines
- The Wild World of Undersea Worms
- Coral Bleaching
- “Scientist at Work” blog, The New York Times
- “From Beautiful Nudibranchs to Coral Graveyards: Marine Research in the Indian and Pacific Oceans,” Huffington Post
President, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Pacific Division, 2008; President, California Malacolzoological Society, 1985–1995, 1999–present; Member, Finance Committee, Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium, 2006–present; President, American Malacological Society, 1999–2000; Board member, Pusod International (Philippine conservation organization), 2008–present
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