Elephant Genes Hold Clues for Fight Against Cancer

Clues leading to a cure for cancer in humans may come from an unlikely source – elephants!

New research is out this week from a study looking at why elephants rarely get cancer. Biologists say the massive mammals have a cancer rate of just 5% compared to about 25% in people.

Scientists found elephants have at least 40 extra genes that stop tumors long before they form. The special genes detect damaged cells and repair or kill them. Humans have only two genes of that type. Researchers say the discovery could lead to more effective cancer treatment in humans.

Instructional Links

Website Article: American Cancer Society, Cancer and Genes

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/geneticsandcancer/genetics-and-cancer-landing

Website Article: International Elephant Foundation, African Elephant

http://www.elephantconservation.org/elephants/african-elephants/

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