A group of international experts has just decoded the white shark genome and found clues that can help treat human cancer. This team has been lead by Nova Southeastern University (NSU) researchers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His research found that shark DNA has evolved to be more stable and tolerant than human DNA damage.

“Genome instability is a very important problem for various serious diseases in humans,”

Dr Mahmood Shivji, Team Leader

Shivji and team found many positive and adaptive changes in the sequence of white shark DNA genes. It is known to be useful for genetic stability, including DNA repair genes. They focus to the number of genetic sequences called Line, namely the jumping gene or the transposable element that moves around the genome and can create mutations.

This line can provide benefits for genetic diversity and also threats related to cancer. The shark’s body size can be large and have a long life, at least until the age of 70 years with this dominant line. However, sharks also run the risk of experiencing genetic mutations, including cancer.

Several time ago we have hypothesis that large bodies animal such as whales or elephants are thought to be more susceptible to cancer than humans, but in fact this is not proven.

For reference, Research from University of Chicago in Illinois in 2018 actually shows that elephants can use inactive tumor suppressor genes. This contributes one more time to explain the paradox of why large animals do not have a greater chance of getting cancer.

read also another mesothelium cancer here

The Shivji team combined samples from two large white sharks to sort the entire genome with 41 chromosome fragments. Do you knows that shark genome is one and a half times the human genome, about 4.6 billion base pairs of DNA. Beautiful right?

“There is still much to be learned from this evolutionary miracle, including information that has the potential to combat cancer and age-related diseases and improve treatment to heal wounds in humans. At least that information can be obtained from these mammals,”

Siviji Said
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