Epidemic of skin lesions reported in reef fish

Epidemic of skin lesions reported in reef fish

The lesions are unusual, however, prompting outside experts to question the diagnosis of cancer

By Janet Raloff, 15:00 PM August 1, 2012

A British-Australian research team has just found coral trout living on the south side of the Great Barrier Reef sporting dark skin lesions. Fifteen percent of the affected populations at two sites bore brown-black growths, some of them raised and almost scablike. The authors conclude that they’ve stumbled onto an epidemic of melanoma — a type of skin cancer — in iconic and commercially important fish.

Marine epidemiologist Michael Sweet of the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainab...

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