Great white shark genome has been sequenced, reveals clues to longevity & cancer resistance

The shark’s genome is one and a half times larger than that of humans!

To many of us, the great white shark is a mysterious and scary creature from the deep – but now it’s a little less mysterious. A team of scientists has sequenced the entire genome of the great white shark, revealing a few clues as to how these animals are so good at healing wounds and resisting cancer.

Sharks are fascinating creatures, sitting proudly at the top of the ocean food chain for millions of years – in fact, they’ve remained virtually unchanged since long before the time of the dinosaurs. On top of that, they’re particularly good at healing themselves and rarely get cancer, with some species even living to the ripe old age of 400.

To help decode how the animals can manage these incredible feats, an international team led by scientists from Nova Southeastern University, Cornell University and Monterey Bay Aquarium have now sequenced the great white shark genome.

The first thing to note is that the shark’s genome is one and a half times larger than that of humans. Within that genetic code, the researchers found that natural selection had given a boost to genes involved in DNA repair, DNA damage response and DNA damage tolerance, which could be behind the animals’ resilience against cancer and other age-related diseases.

Read more HERE