This beautiful picture of a translucent sea cucumber — released last week by the Census of Marine Life and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – reminded me of some interesting research presented at AICR’s conference.
The lab research, presented in a poster session, found that a compound in sea cucumber decreased the growth of breast cancer tumors in mice and decreased cancer growth in cells. Previous lab studies have found that this same sea cucumber compound — called Frondoside A – inhibited the growth of human pancreatic cancer cells.
The research is still only in the laboratory phase but if you want to try a new seafood, look for dried sea cucumbers in Asian markets. (Sea cucumber are a common delicacy in many Asian dishes.)
Sea cucumbers are pretty fascinating. They are generally cucumber-shaped and there’s over 1,000 different species of them. To escape predators, sea cucumbers can jettison some of their internal organs, and then grow them back again.
You can see more newly-identified deep-sea organisms here.