Department News

Whales Could Help Solve the Mystery of Cancer

August 10, 2016

Vera Gorbunova, a biology professor at the University of Rochester in New York, cultured bowhead skin and lung cells gathered in Barrow two years ago and is trying to make them cancerous, which at first appears to be more difficult than it is with human beings.  But the work is ongoing.

"The biggest questions are what are the extra protections that whales have against cancer," Gorbunova said.  "We would really like to understand the mechanism."