Louisiana Digital News

Bowhead whales may resist cancer thanks to superior DNA repair ability


Bowhead whales can live for more than 200 years

Nature Picture Library / Alamy Stock Photo

Bowhead whales, the world’s longest-lived mammals, are seldom affected by cancer and this may partly be down to their cells repairing damaged DNA very efficiently.

Large animals have more cells than smaller ones, so they should be more likely to get cancer, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. This unexpected phenomenon is known as Peto’s paradox.

In fact, many massive animals have very low rates of cancer, including bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), which can weigh more than …

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