Could Giant Tortoises Hold the Secret to The Cure For Cancer?


According to a new research, giant Galapagos live twice as the age of humans. DNA of two giant tortoises including ‘Lonesome and George’ has been marked in 2012. Mutations present in their DNA added to their metabolism and immunity. There is a lower risk of tumors present in them. Dr. Gisella Caccone says “Lonesome George is still teaching us lessons. “ Researchers studied 500 genes and derived a stated that from those 500 genes, 6 influence the longevity in tortoises. 2 specific alterations in those genes which help tumors to grow are present in giant tortoises. Aldabra giant tortoises were also studied and researchers derived that positive selection and expansion of genes linked to metabolism regulation and immune response. Comparison among genomes of tortoises and species led to detect lineage-specific variants affecting DNA repair genes, inflammatory mediators and genes related to cancer development.

This study is about strategies linked to increased lifespan and understanding genomic determinants ofaging.  Analysis of sequences of tortoise genes can help to restore tortoise population and helps us to understand extraordinary characteristics of these iconic species.

George, the last among sub-species of the giant tortoise was discovered in 1972 He is famous as the rarest creature of this world. George and other species are a source of information for biologists to study individual longevity.

Tortoises can live for more than 100 years and this is due to their gene variants linked to DNA repair, immune response and cancer suppression.

This species with long legs, who dragged his legs back when humans went near was an attention seeking organism. Different attempts were made to pair George with other species of females which resembled him but nothing was fruitful. He could even not reproduce with females of similar sub-species. These tortoises were a popular attraction and scarcity at the same time.

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