Zombie gene protects against cancer — in elephants - Professor Vincent Lynch, Ph.D.

Aug 23, 2018
By John Easton

An estimated 17 percent of humans worldwide die from cancer, but less than five percent of captive elephants—who also live for about 70 years, and have about 100 times as many potentially cancerous cells as humans—die from the disease.   

“Genes duplicate all the time,” said Vincent Lynch, PhD, assistant professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago and the study’s senior author. “Sometimes they make mistakes, producing non-functional versions known as pseudogenes. We often refer to these dismissively as dead genes.”