Feb 14, 2018

Secrets of these 200-year-old whales who avoid cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Summary: Why the bowhead whale lives 200 years and rarely gets cancer. This article is part 2 of a 3-part series, covering the role of telomere length in cancer and part of a new extensive study. Part 1 on the accuracy of telomere length is here, Part 3 on the role of telomere length in chronic diseases is here. [This article first appeared under the title ‘Top Journal Discovers Key to These 200-Year-Old Whales Who Avoid Cancer’ on the website LongevityFacts.com. Author: Brady Hartman. ]

Related: A brief overview of why whales don’t get cancer is in this companion video.

In a comprehensive study published a little more than a week ago in a highly respected journal of the Royal Society of the UK, authors Abraham Aviv and Jerry W. Shay (see author bios here) report on the role of telomere length. In this segment, the authors describe the role of telomere length in protecting us from cancer and explain why whales have low rates of cancer, despite large cell counts, long lives, and relatively short telomeres.

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