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January 22 2013

Massive animals may hold secrets of cancer suppression

If every living cell had an equal chance of becoming cancerous, whales and elephants should have a greater risk of developing cancer than do humans or mice. But across species, the occurrence of cancer does not show a correlation with body mass. According to a new model, the paradox could be explained if animals were striking a balance between reducing cancer risk and other priorities, such as maximising the number of offspring.

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