a cure for cancer

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Brian (May 05, 2011, 16:51:58 PM):
not quite right Boogie...my prostrate cancer has precluded the possibility of my every having offspring again: so maybe GCG has a point; you see cancer has a brain and decided that 4 kids is enough spreading of my shitty genes around and pulled the plug on me... ;D ;D ;D
ingwe (May 05, 2011, 17:07:17 PM):
Not a bad thought. But there are a lot of "buts" to this:

BUT, as long as people get cancer after procreation, it has no effect. (Dying after procreating doesn't help select against that trait, as long as you weren't going to procreate some more)
BUT, with all our medical intervention a cure for cancer is probably a lot closer on the horizon, and once again our evolution remains unchanged.

In other words yes, you die, shit happened, but our collective offspring don't reap the reward of your "unfitness" ending in death (predisposition to breast cancer, for example).

But through testing the predisposition towards a particular form of cancer can be determined. This can lead to regular testing and the early discovery and treatment of the tumour(s) with a greater chance of survival.
The women in the one branch of my family have all died from a particular form of cancer, my sister has regular tests conducted and will if unlucky still be able to catch it early enough to survive to spend many more years with her grandchildren!
Mefiante (May 05, 2011, 17:29:05 PM):
Er, “prostate cancer.” “Prostrate” is what you will be, should the cancer get the better of you… ;)

For cancer to start spreading like a transmissible airborne pathogen, it would have to become an autonomous or semi-autonomous living agent like a virus or a bacterium. The intriguing case of the Tasmanian devils (source?) is somewhat different since the cancer cells originated from a single individual. Some oncologists hypothesise that certain viruses are implicated in the onset of certain cancers. Viruses inject their own RNA into host cells and the host cell then makes new viruses as a by-product of its own replication mechanism. Put simply, the idea is that if the right RNA sequence is injected at the right time, the host cell may start replicating uncontrollably and so become a cancer. However, many details of this conjecture remain unclear.

Rigil Kent (May 05, 2011, 18:45:03 PM):
Some interesting micrographs of a rare trivision in a particularly nasty cancer cell.


BoogieMonster (May 05, 2011, 21:56:20 PM):
gawddammit boogie, just let me feel clever for one moment, will ya ::)

Wanna hug? :P

Quote from: Mefiante
The intriguing case of the Tasmanian devils (source?)

I heard about it first on Radiolab, and since I've seen it mentioned in various places... I see it's got it's own wikipedia page now...



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