Hot Testicle Hypothesis

Elephants rarely get cancer. This seems odd because one would think that, elephants being larger than us and thus having more cells, they should be more prone to cancer than we are, not less.

Oxford professor Fritz Vollrath has proposed the "Hot Testicle Hypothesis" to explain this mystery.

The gist of the hypothesis is that elephants have unusually hot testicles for a mammal. Their hot testicles result in more mutations in their sperm. So the elephants have evolved more mutation-suppressing mechanisms in their cells. In particular, they have more copies of "p53 encoding genes" than we do, and these genes play a role in repairing damaged DNA.

All things considered, it appears that the elephant's testes may experience temperatures dangerously high for mammalian sperm production, even under normal body temperatures. High temperature metabolism tends to be coupled with cellular oxidative stress, which increases the probability of mutations. Such mutations could be gene duplications, including multiplications of the TP53 gene.

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     Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 27, 2023
     Category: Animals | Science

This works for the female elephants?
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 08/27/23 at 05:19 AM
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