Today marks 6 months of EleFACT Fridays! We’ve so enjoyed getting to educate our followers in a different way than we normally would by sharing facts about elephants, their behaviors, their bodies, and everything in between. Thank you all for following our efforts in this project and continuing to learn with us.
As large as elephants are, and with the trillions of cells that make up their bodies, you would assume that their size alone would put them at a higher risk for diseases, specifically cancer. The truth is that less than 5% of elephants die from cancer, compared to the 25% of humans that lose their life to the disease.
Cells are constantly mutating, in both human and animal bodies. In some cases, our DNA repair genes are able to catch these mutations, but cancer prevents those genes from doing their job. Researchers have discovered that elephants, along with bowhead whales, possess some sort of “zombie” gene. In elephants, this mutated gene almost always causes the cell to completely die off, preventing the damaged DNA from developing into cancer. This augmented cancer resistance has most likely evolved throughout history, and seemingly still protects elephants from experiencing such a risk.
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Tammy saysAugust 13, 2021 at 2:19 pm
Wow very cool never knew that, the body is an amazing complex miracle thank goodness for that!
Katie Howard saysAugust 13, 2021 at 2:29 pm
We need ALL animal species to survive. The first I heard about elephants and cancer rates I wondered why we’re not analyzing elephant genetics to ID this zombie gene. I wondered then if it would be possible to introduce this gene in a human – to alter human genetics in a move to reduce human cancers…and in dogs, cats and other animals susceptible to cancers.
I’m certainly no scientist and don’t know if such a thing is possible…To me, this is just FURTHER proof that elephants are actually the moser highly evolved species (compared to humans). It makes me wonder what elephants could do if they had opposable thumbs! They’ve already demonstrated that they can live harmoniously in environments and, being a keystone species, provide benefits to other species – we humans seem to have a hard time with that!
Just make musings for the day! Thanks for the post. I love EleFact Fridays! ❤️
Sara saysAugust 13, 2021 at 2:59 pm
Thank you! Many more studies would need to be done – and responsibly – before we could have that sort of data. Let’s hope more information is to come.
SHEILA saysAugust 13, 2021 at 2:54 pm
YES INDEED INFO I NEVER KNEW BEFORE. THANKS👍 GOD DID CERTAINLY CREATE ❤️🐘❤️ELEPHANTS VERY UNIQUELY IN SO MANY WAYS👍 I GUESS HE KNEW ELEPHANTS WERE FAR BETTER THAN MOST HUMANS SO GOD 🙏BLESSED THEM WITH GREAT GENETICS AND PROTECTION FROM CANCER🙏 I LOVE ELEPHANTS ❤️🐘PASSIONATELY😍
Debbie Sides saysAugust 13, 2021 at 4:44 pm
That’s wonderful. All species are amazing. Their evolution ways they adapt to nature.
Wim saysAugust 13, 2021 at 4:44 pm
They are angels living on a different planet. When granted peace and freedom their state must be Utopia.
Enjoying EleFact Friday.
Sara saysAugust 13, 2021 at 5:38 pm
So glad you like it. Thank you!
Bernadette saysAugust 13, 2021 at 5:19 pm
How fascinating. Thankyou
Beji saysAugust 13, 2021 at 6:02 pm
Just astonishing. I wish my beloved husband would have had that gene and would not have died died from this vicious disease.
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EleFact Friday: Magical Mutating Cells