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Miranda Delaney
English 111
October 23, 2015
Elephants May Have the Gene to Cure Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, 39.6 percent of men and women will be
diagnosed with some type of cancer at some point during their lifetime. Cancer is the disease
caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. Researchers have
been trying to figure out a way to prevent or end this disease for good. Animals have been a main
source for scientific investigation, and potentially they could be a changing factor in cancer
research. Saving lives and helping to prevent cancer in humans, and other animals has been the
goal for many researchers, so elephants might hold the answer to a cure. With just one type of
gene that elephants carry, cancer could be cured and lives could be saved.
Elephants may be able to end cancer because scientists have found that they carry a large
number of genes that reduce tumors. According to Damineni of Genetics Home Reference, the
official name of this gene is tumor protein p53 which acts as a tumor reducer, and regulates
cell division by keeping the cells from growing too fast. Large animals, such as elephants,
usually have a lot more of the gene tp53, which double over and fight off cancer cells. In fact,
according to Jennifer Viegas of Discovery News, elephants have always been known to have
hundreds of cells, and for some odd reason those cells have never slipped into a cancerous state.
In order to end cancer, elephants could be the cure. In an experiment to figure out why this is the
case for elephants, scientists placed a cancer trigger in healthy elephants and observed what

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happened. After the trigger was placed, scientist realized the number of tp53 genes killed off the
cancer cell so that it would not contaminate the body. Apparently, this cell could be the cure to
cancer in humans, and other animals. With just a bit, more research and funding gene tp53 could
save lives.
Scientists have been trying to fund as much research as they can. Sarah Knapton of The
Telegraph states, there will be money put into the research on how to extract this gene, and
duplicate it into humans. Already Ringling Brothers Circus has donated $1 million dollars to
cancer research. If cancer was cured, this could affect the world in a sense that populations
would grow, which would mean more people could contribute their ideas to other diseases that
are not yet cured. Funding could lead to more discoveries for not only cancer, but also other
diseases that are harmful to humans as well.
Elephants genes could be the cure to cancer. With a little, more research, and
development there could be a way to cure cancer with just the extraction of one gene, which is
doubled in elephants. The world could potentially get much larger if more people were not being
killed off by cancer. Even though men and woman are diagnosed with cancer every day, now
there might be a way to keep the number of deaths down from cancer because of the new
research being done on elephants genes.

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Works Cited
Knapton, Sarah. "Why Elephants Could Hold the Cure for Cancer." Science News. The
Telegraph, 7 Oct. 2015. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.
N.A. "SEER Stat Fact Sheets: All Cancer Sites." Turning Cancer Data into Discovery. National
Cancer Institute, 2015. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.
S, Damineni. "TP53 Gene." Genetics Home Reference. HONcode Standard, Oct. 2015. Web. 20
Oct. 2015.
Viegas, Jennifer. "Cancer-Free Elephants May Hold Key to Cure." Animals. Discovery News, 8
Oct. 2015. Web. 9 Oct. 2015.