Vincent J. Lynch on elephants and cancer
Elephants. They never forget — and they suffer cancer astonishingly infrequently when you take into account their enormous size. Vincent Lynch, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago, has found a significant piece of this puzzle: a gene called LIF6 that dates back to the remote ancestors of modern elephants — and was seemingly “resurrected”, so to speak, over the course of their evolution into the animals we know and love today. For this week’s podcast we spoke with with Lynch about what his discovery means for pachyderms and for humans.