Cancer-free: how are elephants escaping the deadly disease?

It turns out that elephants not only have great memory – they are also very unlikely to develop cancer.

Although cancer often comes with age and cell growth – and elephants live up to 70 years and grow from 200 to 12,000 pounds as they mature – it only affects about 5% of elephants in captivity.

The reason for this may be that elephants have twenty times as many copies of a tumor-blocking gene called TP53. This cancer-fighting gene checks for genetic mistakes and destroys errors that cannot be fixed. In comparison, humans only have 2 of these genes, one from their mother and another from their father.

For more information, check out the article.

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