Why Elephants rarely get cancer

Oct-21
 

Elephants have a much lower incidence of cancer than one would expect, given their size and long life span. The mystery behind this has stumped scientists for decades. In a new study, scientists suggest that the reason is because they have many copies of a key cancer-fighting gene than humans. Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah and Arizona State University spent several years looking for what helps elephants protect against developing cancer. According to the results which is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), elephants have 38 additional modified copies (alleles) of a gene that encodes p53, a well-defined tumor suppressor, as compared to humans, who have only two.

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