In the News: Will Dolphins Help Us Cure Disease?

We often hear about new medicines being discovered in inconspicuous frogs, plants or deep-sea mollusks, but here comes a story that shows that even big creatures that have been right under our noses for ages can still hold interesting (and useful) surprises.

In a recent BBC News article, scientists found that bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)—the back-flipping, front row-splashing, always-smirking denizen of many aquariums around the world—may hold potential insights to finding cures for type 2 diabetes which affects millions of people worldwide.

Now think about this for a minute: dolphins are big and photogenic and pretty well-studied, yet we’ve only just discovered this particular potential contribution to human health. Now imagine all the plants and creatures that scientists rarely see, are harder to study or that scientists don’t even know about, and the mind begins to boggle at what else may be lying out there, waiting to be discovered.

Conrad Savy is a Conservation Science Advisor for CI.

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