Today’s “Planet Earth Report” –The Great Elephant Cancer Mystery: ‘They Have a Zombie Gene 20x That of Humans’

“We can use the tricks of evolution to try to figure out when this defunct gene became functional again,” said Vincent Lynch, Ph.D., assistant professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago. “It seems to have emerged around the time when the fossil record indicates that the small groundhog-sized precursors of today’s elephants began to grow bigger. This started about 25 to 30 million years ago. This supplementary method of suppressing cancer may have been a key element enabling enormous growth, which eventually led to modern elephants.”

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