The ocean’s most vicious predator may soon hold the cure to one of man’s most vicious predators – cancer. It may sound like something out of a low-budget sci-fi movie, but researchers at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) have made some fascinating discoveries. The research team, which first concentrated on mapping the Great White’s genome, discovered that sharks contained nearly fifty-percent more DNA than humans. This additional DNA appears to assist in maintaining the animal’s overall health – contributing to both the regulation of potential cancer-causing gene mutations and reducing wound recovery time.
Gene mutations, which occur during the cell division process, are usually regulated by proteins in your body. Think of the proteins as the “Quality Control” segment of an assembly line. While regulation works in most cases, sometimes mutations sneak their way through and into our bodies. Certain types of these unregulated mutations can lead to cancer. The Privy Health Insight genetic test looks at gene mutations to help assess an individual’s predisposition to certain forms of cancer.
By converting shark genes into proteins, scientists are able to create medications. While researchers are still in the early stages, they are hopeful that this new discovery can lead to major advancements in human medicine. Advancements, which scientists note, requires additional studying of the Great Whites, and will only be possible if we continue to protect the shark population.