Darwin’s finches may face the risk of extinction in the next 200 years. It was revealed in a new study which was published in Applied Ecology Journal at 18 Dec. According to this study, birds race face an imminent threat due to existence of parasitic flies. One main attribute of these flies is their toxic nature which can even diminish the small birds’ race in a couple of decades.

Nevertheless, the chief of this research, Dale Clayton, has a reason to believe that use of word extinction for small birds, especially Darwin’s finches, is a bit of exaggeration, also suggesting that birds’ species can be saved from being even reduced.

According to Clayton, human beings can play an important role in stopping the extinction of these birds by practically discouraging dominance of parasitic flies. Moreover, Clayton has also welcomed the concept of natural development of birds’ defense against parasitic flies and their toxic larvae.


Even if the human interaction is required, which is the case most likely, in this fight against parasitic nest flies; it is not going to be an easy process at all. These flies are believed to have originated from Galapagos Islands in 1960s and are given the official name of Philornis downsi.

Although Clayton expresses hope in finding the way against prevalence of these flies, he doesn’t underestimate the threat posed by these flies. According to Clayton, these flies usually lay their eggs in nostrils of baby birds. Larvae gets their feed from the flesh of bird and this process ultimately leads to the development of punctures which are life threatening for birds. Clayton further mentioned that these flies came into the limelight when these were found on the islands in 1990s.

Clayton said that there are several other factors which too are threatening for finches such as rats that prey nestlings and growing unsuitability of environment. However, dominance in existence of parasitic flies seems the biggest threat which needs to be dealt with on the first priority. While any solution to enhance birds’ capacity to resist their extinction from the hands of these flies could be found, it is imperative to work on restricting these flies from growing in number.

According to a recent scientific study, nine out of ten types of cancers are cause due to external factors which mainly include smoking, consuming alcohol, air pollution and abnormal exposure to sunlight. Previous research should also be mentioned here which suggested that major cause of most of the cancers is random cell mutation which may result in the formation of tumors. However, scientists have now started to believe cancers occur more due to external factors rather than random mutations.

The research is also expected to incite a controversy as it mentions that the risk of most types of cancers can be reduced by quitting smoking, exercising and avoiding getting into the sunlight frequently.

A British statistician stated that this research shows a total wipe out of 70 to 90 percent of cancer types if we avoid the external harmful elements.


World Cancer Research Fund’s Kate Allen further added into this matter by stating that perception about cancer ‘just happening’ is wrong. Hence, it is also not true that there is nothing which can be done to prevent it.

This new research has been made after the research earlier this year which explained that about 65 percent cancers are unpreventable and are usually caused by random cell division. This cell division is something which we cannot control.

However, the Stony Brook University’s study suggests something otherwise. It says that there would have been very few cancers in observation if only the random mutation were to be declared culprit.


According to Yusuf Hannun from Stony Brook University, mutation caused by intrinsic cell division of a body has very less power to develop something like cancer. This research got its proof by another research about the immigrants who moved from the areas where people are less likely to have cancers to the areas where people are more prone to have cancers. After moving to that area, those immigrants also had same kind of cell division process which was possessed by inhabitants of that area. This study suggests that cell division, that causes cancer, is more likely influenced by environment, but not by intrinsic body changes.

Although the study has not suggested any cure for cancer but it rather emphasizes on reducing the extrinsic risks which can lead to the development of cancer in a body.