Cancer ‘as old as multi-cellular life on Earth’

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Trippy, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member


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    The so-called cancer genes are ancient

    The causes of tumors are the so-called cancer genes. As from when evolution started producing tumors is an issue that the scientists Tomislav Domazet-Lošo and Diethard Tautz from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön have been investigating for several years, using bio-informational methods and databases that they have developed in-house. “During the search for the origin of the cancer gene, we unexpectedly made a discovery in the ancient group of animals,” explains Domazet-Lošo. He is one of the authors of the present study and is currently working at the Ruder Bošković Institute and the Catholic University of Croatia in Zagreb. “Our data predicted that the first multi-cellular animals already had most of the genes which can cause cancer in humans.” What was missing until now was, on the one hand, evidence that these animals can actually suffer from tumors and, on the other, the molecular understanding of the mechanisms of tumor formation in these simple animals.

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  3. tashja Registered Senior Member

    Has anybody ever tried to grow a cancer in the lab. I don't mean the typical cells they use to experiment on, but like feed cancer cells and let them divide indefinitely until it becomes a massive blob? How big could it get in theory? I've seen huge tumors removed from people, but would a cancer grown in a lab look different (shape, color, etc) than a tumor removed from a person? Would it eventually die even though it was given nutrients and stuff, or would it just keep growing and growing? Maybe even develop legs..hehe.
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  5. wellwisher Banned Banned

    It would make sense that cancer was an ancient prototype for life. I theorized that 20 years ago. It is a rough multicellular blob often without a definitive final shape. The cells can differentiate as they divide, which is also a precursor to the final multicellular differentiation process. What is lacking in cancer is proper cellular differentiation control. In animals this is provided for by the nervous system which provides feedback control. Modern cancers detach from the nervous control system and assume their more ancient mode where feedback control is lacking. Theoretically, if we wired a cancer back to the nervous system, this would inhibit it. If we could design the nerve feedback system to be more specific, we could coral and reverse the cancer so it is absorbed by recycle.
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  7. rpenner Fully Wired Valued Senior Member


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