Elephants have cancer-fighting genes that may help humans – plus they are cute too!!
Some retired circus elephants in Florida may just hold the clue to finding a cure for cancer for their much smaller humans.
Former Asian circus elephants at a retirement community run by Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus in Central Florida are been studied to find out why elephants rarely ever get cancer despite their size.
The elephants at the Ringling Brothers Center for Elephant Conservation in Polk City, near Orlando, Florida may help researchers find out why only about 4 percent of elephants die from cancer.
What you may not know is that both humans and elephants have a tumor-fighting gene called p53. I bet you never thought we humans had anything in common with elephants, except for their wonderful memory?
Simply put, humans have roughly 2 copies of these cancer-fighting genes, while our much larger friends, who are 100 times bigger than us, have about 40 copies of these genes. Now you can see why studying them can help researchers get insight into fighting cancer and possibly a cure.
They have 100 times more cells and yet hardly ever get cancer.
So when you see an elephant next time, know that our much larger cute friends can really help us and we should take care of them too.