The Sloth-Cancer Connection

I was once called a sloth by my high school geography teacher. Not overly familiar but very curious about these creatures, I went to the library and looked them up (I’m dating myself, but there was no Internet yet). In smart-ass fashion I asked my teacher if he thought I was cute and cuddly or lazy. That didn’t get me very far… ahem. I decided that because they were pretty darn cute I was okay with being called a sloth. One documentary I watched tracked a male sloth during a three day journey down a tree and into a research camp 20 feet away to reach a female in heat. The researches let the poor fella get all the way there before they picked him up and in less than a minute had him back in his tree. They didn’t want the female to mate while in captivity (she was injured). I digress. The real story here, as reported in Popular Science this week, is that several chemicals isolated from the fungi in sloth fur showed strong activity against human breast cancer cells. My only hope is that science doesn’t move in a sloth-like manner to firm up these results.


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