Cancer Across the Tree of Life: New Insights into an Ancient Disease

9/19/2018; 28 minutes

Across the tree of life, we can trace cancer vulnerabilities back to the origins of multicellularity. Cancer is observed in almost all multicellular phyla, including lineages leading to plants, fungi, and animals. However, species vary remarkably in their susceptibility to cancer. Amy Boddy (UCSB Integrated Anthropological Sciences Unit) discusses how this variation in cancer susceptibility is characterized by life history trade-offs, as cancer defense mechanisms are a major component of a body's maintenance. She also looks at how understanding these trade-offs in the context of evolution may help explain the variability we see in cancer susceptibility across human populations. Recorded on 07/18/2018. (#34028)

 

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