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Digging for Clams in the San Juan Islands

Rain boots, shovels, and a clam dig — all in a day’s work for PNRI’s Metzger Lab. This group is always driven to do whatever they must for research. And when studying cancer in clams, sometimes that means waking up before dawn to dig in the mud.

Several of our lab members joined Megan Dethier of the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories for a clam digging adventure on San Juan Island’s Friday Harbor.

Our scientists are studying a rare occurrence of cancer found in clams — where the cancer is transmitted from one clam to another. What is most important to us is that some clams resist developing the cancer. By studying why some clams do not develop cancer and others do, we hope to better understand the way that humans can also resist developing cancers of all types.

Again, all in a day’s work at PNRI.

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