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FSU Marine Labs Hosts Spring Lecture
February 8 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sharks, Cancer, & Fake News
by Dr. Gary Ostrander For many years the promotion of shark cartilage as a cure for cancer has contributed to at least two significant deleterious outcomes: a dramatic and continuing decrease in shark populations around the world and the diversion of patients from effective cancer treatments. The primary justification for the use of cartilage is that sharks do not present with cancer. However, sharks and related fishes have been documented to exhibit a variety of different cancers in different organs and tissues. The earliest known examples were reported in the late 1800’s.
To facilitate the use of reason as the basis of public and private decision-making, the evidence-based mechanisms of evaluation used daily by the scientific community should be added to the training of media and governmental professionals. Increased use of logical, collaborative discussion will be necessary to ensure a sustainable future for man and the biosphere.