Navigation Links
Cancer: The cost of being smarter than chimps?
Date:6/10/2009

Are the cognitively superior brains of humans, in part, responsible for our higher rates of cancer? That's a question that has nagged at John McDonald, chair of Georgia Tech's School of Biology and chief research scientist at the Ovarian Cancer Institute, for a while. Now, after an initial study, it seems that McDonald is on to something. The new study is available online in the journal Medical Hypothesis and will appear in the forthcoming issue of the journal.

"I was always intrigued by the fact that chimpanzees appear to have lower rates of cancer than humans," said McDonald. "So we went back and reanalyzed some previously reported gene expression studies including data that were not used in the original analyses."

McDonald and his graduate students, Gaurav Arora and Nalini Polivarapu, compared chimp-human gene expression patterns in five tissues: brain, testes, liver, kidneys and heart. They found distinct differences in the way apoptosis or programmed cell death operates, suggesting that humans do not "self-destroy" cells as effectively as chimpanzees do. Apoptosis is one of the primary mechanisms by which our bodies destroy cancer cells.

"The results from our analysis suggest that humans aren't as efficient as chimpanzees in carrying out programmed cell death. We believe this difference may have evolved as a way to increase brain size and associated cognitive ability in humans, but the cost could be an increased propensity for cancer," said McDonald.

Like all evolutionary hypotheses, this can't be proven absolutely, according to McDonald. However, his lab has recently obtained additional direct experimental evidence consistent with the hypothesis that apoptotic function is more efficient in chimps than in humans.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Terraso
david.terraso@comm.gatech.edu
404-385-2966
Georgia Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. From cars to cancer: UH professor employs auto industry tools for tumor therapy
2. Early detection of lung cancer: New data presented at multidisciplinary meeting
3. Cancer: Another step towards medication
4. Freezing kidney cancer: Hot treatment should be new gold standard for destroying small tumors
5. Hispanic women and breast cancer: An understudied group
6. Stem cells and cancer: cancer pathways that also control the adult stem cell population
7. Scientists discover how cigarette smoke causes cancer: Study points to new treatments, safer tobacco
8. Prostate cancer: Watchful wait or vaccinate?
9. DNA-Prokids: Genetic identification against traffic in human beings
10. The importance of being helpful -- Cooperative cichlids boost their own reproductive success
11. Promising new drug being evaluated as possible treatment option for fragile X syndrome
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Cancer: The cost of being smarter than chimps?
(Date:5/12/2016)... 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a brand ... overview results from the Q1 wave of its quarterly ... was consumers, receptivity to a program where they would ... health insurance company. "We were surprised to ... Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Infosys ... (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a global ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, fast ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling and ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The leading Regenerative Veterinary Medicine Company, VetStem Biopharma ., ... over 100 of their own patients with the VetStem Cell Therapy. Each of these ... for their patients. , The veterinarians are Dr Ross Rich former owner of ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... ... contaminated with Listeria, as reported by Food Safety News on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates ... according to Ted Olsen, CEO of Baltimore-based biotech firm, PathSensors, Inc. ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... , May 19, 2016 ... will fully recover given the relentless pressures in pricing ... sure in the investors circle though - numerous opportunities ... Ahead of today,s session, ActiveWallSt.com,s presents four names in ... ), Vitae Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VTAE ), ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... 19, 2016 - I dati ... durante il 52 ° Congresso ... - Le conclusioni dello studio indicano un ... trattati, di cui il 90% presenta una d urata ... più. Il settantadue per cento dei pazienti ha riscontrato un ...
Breaking Biology Technology: