Shark DNA increases longevity of humans, may cure cancer

Blacktip Shark
Blacktip Shark Reuters

A team of scientists who conducted a study on great white shark DNA has found that it contains a unique genome that protects against cancer and various other diseases. During the study, researchers also found that this genome is helping sharks stay resistant from various diseases, and it also promotes faster healing of wounds in the creature's body.

Researchers also noted that sharks have 50 percent larger genomes than that of humans. These creatures can also make adaptive changes in genes that are linked to DNA repair and damage tolerance. As per scientists, it is the absence of these genes in humans which are primarily responsible for making us more susceptible to various age-related illness and cancer.

The study report published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claimed to have found striking occurrences of specific DNA sequence changes indicating molecular adaptation in numerous genes with important roles in maintaining genome stability.

Experts believe that the genome instability in the human body is responsible for increased illness, and they claim that more studies based on shark DNA could help human beings live longer by reducing the onset of age-related illness. Genome instability is usually caused by accumulated DNA damage, and in the course of time, humans are prone to developing more serious diseases when compared to sharks.

"Genome instability is a very important issue in many serious human diseases. Now we find that nature has developed clever strategies to maintain the stability of genomes in these large-bodied, long-lived sharks. There's still tons to be learned from these evolutionary marvels, including information that will potentially be useful to fight cancer and age-related diseases, and improve wound healing treatments in humans, as we uncover how these animals do it," said Mahmood Shivji, the director of the Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Research Centre at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, the co-author of the study, Science Daily reports.

Experts are now planning to study more about the DNA of sharks which may revolutionize the medical sector in the future.

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