Elizabeth Murchison gives a TED lecture

King's Fellow Dr Elizabeth Murchison has given a TED lecture on her research into transmissible cancers. The lecture was held at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh in July, and just been published on the TED website.

Elizabeth describes the plight of the Tasmanian devil, which from the 1990s has been afflicted with a transmissible cancer that has devastated its population. The numbers of devils have declined by 85% in the last 15 years, and the species might become extinct in the next 25 years.

Elizabeth hopes to find clues in the DNA of devil cancers, and other infectious cancers found in dogs, to see how the disease can be prevented and the devil population saved.

Please note that this video contains images of tumours that some viewers might find upsetting.

For more about Elizabeth's research see her web page and Current research. There is also a recent article in about her in The Guardian.

TED is a nonprofit organisation founded in 1984 to promote new and innovative ideas. Many top entrepreneurs, scientists and writers have given TED lectures. See the TED website for more information.

4 October 2011