Marble crayfish clone themselves and invade many habitats rapidly. Image: Frank Lyko, DKFZ
The invasive marbled crayfish reproduce rapidly by natural cloning

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have found that all individuals of an invasive crayfish descend from one single female. They are formed by natural cloning that started in an aquarium 30 years ago. Although all crayfish carry precisely the same genes, they can adapt to very different habitats, due to epigenetic mechanisms that switch on or off certain genes. This resembles cancers that also descend from one cell and grow by clonal expansion. Researchers are now keen to use the crayfish as an animal model for the study of processes in cancer.

Read the full story: German Cancer Research Center
Scientific publication: Nature Ecology and Evolution