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28 Oct
Elephant DNA Could Inspire New Cancer-Fighting Drug Elephant DNA Could Inspire New Cancer-Fighting Drug

Elephant DNA Could Inspire New Cancer-Fighting Drug

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As hard as scientists have worked to find a cure for cancer, the latest discovery may be the most original way yet. Elephant DNA has been found to contain a type of gene that suppresses tumors in humans. The gene, called TP53, prevents cells from multiplying and, as a result, prevents cancer from spreading.

When the gene was activated in mice, scientists found mice have the same protection from cancer as elephants, who rarely get cancer. Only 4.8 percent of known elephant deaths have been connected to cancer. In humans, those numbers are closer to 11 to 25 percent.

During the study, a team extracted white blood cells from elephants and damaged them. The team found that in addition to preventing the spread of cancer, elephants also have a built-in mechanism that detects and kills bad cells before they can wreak damage on the body.

Scientists hope to eventually be able to develop a drug that simulates the effect of TP53, which could finally be the key to suppressing the spread of cancer in humans. While more research is necessary, scientists hope that this new development could eventually lead to better treatment options than those currently available.

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Read 1107 times Last modified on Saturday, 17 October 2015 02:34
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on NYPost.com, PSMag.com, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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