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cancer

Abstractions blog

Can New Species Evolve From Cancers? Maybe. Here’s How.

August 19, 2019

Researchers agree it’s a long shot, but transmissible cancers could theoretically evolve into independent species. Certain weird parasites might be living proof.

Illustration of life evolving to use oxygen
evolution

Oxygen and Stem Cells May Have Reshaped Early Complex Animals

March 7, 2018

An unlikely team offers a controversial hypothesis about what enabled animal life to get more complex during the Cambrian explosion.

520px illustration for cell incubation time.
mathematical biology

Why Don’t Patients Get Sick in Sync? Modelers Find Statistical Clues

March 1, 2018

The long, variable times that some diseases incubate after infection defies simple explanation. An idealized model of tumor growth offers a statistical solution.

Elephant thumbnail
genomics

A Zombie Gene Protects Elephants From Cancer

November 7, 2017

Elephants did not evolve to become huge animals until after they turned a bit of genetic junk into a unique defense against inevitable tumors.

biophysics

Jammed Cells Expose the Physics of Cancer

August 16, 2016

The subtle mechanics of densely packed cells may help explain why some cancerous tumors stay put while others break off and spread through the body.

genetics

Tracking the Evolution of Cancer, Cell by Cell

November 13, 2013

Analyzing individual cancer cells could reveal the answer to some of the disease’s most enduring mysteries.

evolution

On Microbial Frontier, Cooperation Thrives

August 2, 2013

Population expansion may be a major driver in the evolution of cooperation, with implications for new antibiotics, cancer treatments and perhaps even human behavior.