29 Oct '15, 12am

Genetic boost helps elephants fight cancer

Cancer is less prevalent in elephants than in humans, in part because the giant animals have more copies of a gene that suppresses tumor growth, a new study finds. Understanding how this gene evolved and works in elephants may help researchers develop ways to treat human cancer patients, the researchers said. PHOTOS TO INSPIRE: 6 animals with strong family bonds In the study, the researchers focused on the so-called "guardian of the genome" — a gene called TP53. Normally, this gene encodes a protein that suppresses tumors. In the majority of human cancers, this gene is mutated, leading to increased cell reproduction (a hallmark of cancer) and genomic instability (mutations in the genome), the researchers said. [10 Do's and Don'ts to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer ] Humans inherit one copy of TP53 from each parent, and both are needed to prevent cancer development. People who i...

Full article: http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/research-innovations/storie...

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