Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Mere Existence of Whales ...

The Mere Existence of Whales | The Loom | Discover Magazine

Blue whales do get cancer, but it’s hard to believe that they get it at the rates that come out of Caulin and Maley’s calculations. Blue whales are known to live well over a century. Bowhead whales have reached at least 211 years. If blue whales really did get cancer as fast as the models would suggest, they ought to be extinct. 
The failure of the model means that blue whales must have some secrets for fighting cancer. “The mere existence of whales suggests that is possible to suppress cancer many-fold better than is done in humans,” Caulin and Maley write.


  1. How in the world can it be scientific to extrapolate the cancer risks of a whole based on a human? Are there whales that smoke cigarettes and eat at McDonald's?

    I found the secret: don't like live a modern human being. And of course, the magic of a 100% seafood diet.

    My worry: this is going to encourage people to consume whale as a cure for cancer (I'm not saying who... Southeast Asia, I'm looking in your general direction).

  2. Interesting ideas there. I have to agree with the first commenter, extrapolating data for an entire species based on us is a bit suspect, but then I'm not a scientist either.

    The 'Western' human lifestyle is hazardous to our health for sure, and let's hope nobody starts eating the whales, that would be a tragic waste.


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