New research: ‘Zombie gene’ may help prevent elephants from dying of cancer

africa-animals-black-and-white-16023.jpg

It’s estimated that between 11 to 25 percent of humans will die from cancer during life.

The odds increase for those who live longer and the larger you are, the odds increase even more.

However, oddly enough, only five percent of elephants die from cancer despite a male adult elephant weighing up to 13,000 pounds.

Theoretically, elephants should have a significantly higher cancer rate than humans.

So what’s happening here?

New research indicates that elephants have a gene nicknamed the “Zombie” gene. It’s known scientifically as LIF6 and it only is found in elephants.

More from CBS News:


Listen to all Genetic Jackpot episodes on SoundCloud or iTunes. 

How DNA science assisted the identification process following September 11th, 2001

world-trade-center-memorial-271355_1280

By NICK SLOAN

Over 2,700 people were killed on September 11, 2001. 

Adding even more sorrow to the tragic events in New York City that day was the fact it took months – and in some cases years – for families to receive final closure. 

Due to the damage caused at Ground Zero from  water, mold, bacteria, fire and jet fuel, the challenge of identifying the remains was very difficult, according to Mark Desire of the Office of the City Medical Examiner in New York City. 

“Fire, water, sunlight and mold and bacteria and jet fuel — all of these things destroy DNA, and I just mentioned everything that was present at Ground Zero, so this was extremely challenging,” he told The New York Post in an interview. 

The Post article details the incredible science that went with the process of identifying the remains, including a way to draw blood from bone. 

You can read more here: https://nypost.com/2018/08/29/inside-the-groundbreaking-science-to-identify-every-last-9-11-victim/


Listen to all Genetic Jackpot episodes on SoundCloud or iTunes. 

Episode 10: How secure is your genetic information online?

MyHeritageBlog

Data breaches are all too common today, ranging from retails to credit companies.

In June, we learned that MyHeritage had a data breach that impacted 92 million users. How serious was the database breach and how can you fight back and prevent the damage?

In this episode, we talk to Burton Kelso, a cyber-security and technology expert out of Kansas City to discuss data breaches and possible solutions.

Listen to The Genetic Jackpot Podcast! Previous episodes are below.

You can also listen on our iTunes page here

Episode 9: Exploring the link between weight loss, diet and genetics

Episode 8: The backlog of thousands of untested rape kits

Episode 7: Chicago news anchor’s journey to Africa for answers

Episode 6: Helping younger generations become aware of DNA

Episode 5: DNA’s Role in the Golden State Killer Case

Episode 4: Opening up the “Pandora’s Box”

Episode 3: Pets and DNA

Episode 2: To test or not to test?

Episode #1: An introduction to The Genetic Jackpot

New genetics technology could lead to fresher food

strawberries-red-fruit-royalty-free-70746

By NICK SLOAN, Genetic Jackpot

One of the drawbacks to buying fresh vegetables and fresh fruit compared to their frozen counterparts is the fact they spoil quicker.

That could change in the future in part due to a new agreement between J.R. Simplot Company, DowDuPont Inc. and the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University regarding gene editing tools.

According to the company, the gene editing software could keep food such as potatoes and strawberries fresher and reduce the rate of when they spoil.

“We’re excited to add CRISPR-Cas9 technology to our platform of tools aimed at providing more sustainable produce for the industry,” said Susan Collinge PhD, Vice President of Simplot Plant Sciences, in a statement.  “These pioneering tools may enable growers to achieve higher yields on less land resulting in fewer pesticides, water and labor needs while extending the quality of a consumer’s favorite foods.”

More here: 


 

Listen to The Genetic Jackpot Podcast! Episodes below.

You can also listen on our iTunes page here

Episode 9: Exploring the link between weight loss, diet and genetics

Episode 8: The backlog of thousands of untested rape kits

Episode 7: Chicago news anchor’s journey to Africa for answers

Episode 6: Helping younger generations become aware of DNA

Episode 5: DNA’s Role in the Golden State Killer Case

Episode 4: Opening up the “Pandora’s Box”

Episode 3: Pets and DNA

Episode 2: To test or not to test?

Episode #1: An introduction to The Genetic Jackpot

Episode 4: Opening up the “Pandora’s Box”

205362_317911191636887_2008363276_nA Chicago area biologist discovers he’s related to a world famous pop band from India! We were joined in this episode by Robert Sliwinski of DNA Explorers to talk more about this.

DNA testing can be simple….but it can also lead to complicated results.

“Here’s the thing, it is a Pandora’s Box, you may learn something you don’t want to know.”

Have you opened your box?

Let us know if you made any discoveries (good or bad) after DNA testing!

Episode 2: To test or not to test?

Access to DNA testing has become more available across the country and many have taken advantage of it – but others have not. Shannon Halligan and Nick Sloan dive into why that’s the case and discuss their own thoughts on DNA testing.