Can elephants and dinosaurs teach us about cancer? Join us this Thursday (11/02) at 1pm EST for the eighth round of the MEME seminar!
Cancer is a risk all multicellular organisms face: each cell division comes with a probability of mutations that can eventually cause cancer. Yet some species like elephants achieve long lifespans and large body sizes even though they need more cell divisions (Peto’s paradox), possibly thanks to their high cancer defences. How do organisms attain their mature sizes without succumbing to cancer? Can cancer risk constrain body size evolution? What happens when large-bodied lineages like dinosaurs shrink in size? In this presentation, I will talk about life history evolution under cancer risk, challenges of growing a large body, and how evolutionary lags might explain cancer-robustness in birds.