Why elephants rarely get cancer

Published February 5, 2021


Yahoo News reported on UB research, co-led by Vincent Lynch, on how elephants evolved to become big and cancer-resistant. The study found that elephants possess extra copies of a wide variety of genes associated with tumor suppression, a phenomenon that is common among elephants’ living and extinct relatives. “One of the expectations is as you get a really big body, your burden of cancer should increase because things with big bodies have more cells,” said Lynch. “The fact this isn’t true across species, a long-standing paradox in evolutionary medicine and cancer biology, indicates evolution found a way to reduce cancer risk.”








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