Donation to boost shark gene research

| 03/06/2019
CNS Local Life
White shark (Photo by Byron Dilkes)

(CNS Local Life): The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) has received a US$300,000 donation to support shark genomic work at Nova Southeastern University through the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI). The institute recently announced that it had decoded the entire white shark genome, which could have major implications for human health.

The genetic makeup of sharks predisposes them to low cancer rates, rapid wound healing and anti-aging characteristics, stated a GHOF press release.

“We are only beginning to understand the evolutionary traits that have made sharks such incredibly successful species and how those traits might impact human health. However, this work is very expensive,” said artist and biologist Dr Guy Harvey, who chairs the foundation. “Without the support of generous individuals like this, none of this groundbreaking work would be possible.”

The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has committed US$100,000 annually over the next three years to continue and expand the genomic research.

In a statement, the donor said, “It is my great honour to help support the GHOF shark genomic research. The decoding of the shark’s genome is a momentous scientific achievement and I believe further research will prove useful in applications to human medicine in combating weak immune systems, cancers and age-related diseases.

“Knowing how these genes protect the shark from cancer will be a huge benefit for humans. Further research is imperative. It is therefore, my hope that my donation will inspire other philanthropists to join me in my support of this exciting and life-changing endeavour.”

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Category: Environment, Local News, Marine Environment

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