A physicist and an astrobiologist team up to explain to medical doctors how knowledge of evolution holds the key to curing cancer.
Scientific American: Did Cancer Evolve to Protect Us?
Curing cancer is high on everyone’s wish list for the 21st century. Could the key be billions of year’s old? A National Cancer Institute project to “rethink cancer from the bottom up” has spawned a study asserting that oncologists need to seek the cancer cures for the present in clues from the evolutionary past.
Physicist Paul Davies and astrobiologist Charles Lineweaver believe that cancer cells are simply cells that have reverted to their evolutionary ancestral state to cope with the challenges they face. This is called an “atavistic” model. (Atavism means reversion to an ancient, primitive, or ancestral state. Continue reading →