Home

Despite their big size, elephants rarely get cancer, and scientists said they have discovered the secret to the creatures’ special protection. It’s in the genes. Elephants have 38 additional modified copies of a gene that encodes p53, a compound that suppresses tumour formation. Humans, on the other hand, have only two, according to the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This means that as elephants evolved, their bodies made many extra copies of a gene that prevents tumours from forming. Elephants have been considered an enigma for years because they have far more cells than people, which would presumably place them at higher risk of cancer over their lifespans which can last 50-70 years.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s