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Cellular ‘Cheaters’ Give Rise to Cancer

Maybe it was in “some warm little pond,” Charles Darwin speculated in 1871, that life on Earth began. A few simple chemicals sloshed together and formed complex molecules. These, over great stretches of time, joined in various combinations, eventually giving rise to the first living cell: a self-sustaining bag of chemistry capable of dividing and spawning copies of itself.

While scientists still debate the specifics, most subscribe to some version of what Darwin suggested — genesis as a fortuitous chemical happenstance. But the story of how living protoplasm emerged from lifeless matter may also help explain something darker: the origin of cancer.

Click here to read more from this July 27, 2015 New York Times article by George Johnson.

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