Searching for keys to cancer resistance in the genome of giant tortoise Lonesome George

Lonesome George putneymark ccby x
Lonesome George. Image credit: PBS

An international research team has discovered several variants in tortoise genomes that potentially affect six of the nine hallmarks of ageing. None of the variants has been previously associated with the ageing process.

They also found that giant tortoises have several expanded tumour suppressor genes, as well as alterations in two genes which are known to contribute to cancer.

This was something of a celebrity-tinged genome sequencing, because one of the two tortoises studied was the legendary Lonesome George, the last member of the Galapagos giant tortoise species from Pinta Island (Chelonoidis abingdoni). The other was an Aldabrachelys gigantea from the island of Aldabra in the Seychelles.

They hope their findings, which are published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, will open fresh research avenues that could lead to an improved understanding of the tortoises’ longevity and support conservation efforts.

Related article:  Electrical stimulation can ‘starve’ brain cancers, early study shows

“Giant tortoises are amongst the longest living animals and therefore must have evolved mechanisms for reducing their risk of developing cancer,” says co-author Luciano Beheregaray, from Flinders University in Australia. “Because of that they provide an excellent model to study longevity and age-related diseases.”

Lonesome George was discovered in 1971 and from then on lived under protection at the Tortoise Centre on Santa Cruz in the Galapagos. He died of natural causes in 2012.

Read full, original post: The genome of Lonesome George

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend