August 14, 2018
Ninety-eight percent of the human genome does not encode genes. Most of the genome is made up of regions that dial up or dial down the activity of the 20,000 genes that we do have. How do you sift through 3 billion bases of DNA sequence to try to find those little sequences that may be important for cancer resistance?
Researchers, led by Dr. Christopher Gregg from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, believe they have uncovered a powerful new approach to doing just that. Dr. Gregg and his laboratory are using an innovative method to identify species that have evolved superpowers, whereby protecting them from developing certain diseases.
One such “super animal” is the elephant. In the last episode of Adventures in Genomics, Irene and Jacques travel to Utah to speak with Dr. Gregg about his scientific approach to studying such species and their extraordinary ability to prevent cancer from developing.