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Arizona Cancer Evolution Center

Fascinating preprint  by ACE members E. Yagmu Erten, Marc TollisHanna Kokko:

An increased appreciation of the ubiquity of cancer risk across the tree of life means we also need to understand the more robust cancer defences some species seem to have. Peto’s paradox, the finding that large-bodied species do not suffer from more cancer even if their lives require far more cell divisions than those of small species, can be explained if large size selects for better cancer defences. Since birds live longer than non-flying mammals of an equivalent body size, and birds are descendants of moderate-sized dinosaurs, we ask whether ancestral cancer defence innovations are retained if body size shrinks in an evolutionary lineage.