If this isn’t a hoax, we wonder how long it’ll last:
A new study refutes one published earlier this year that claimed random mutations were at the root of many tumors.
Only 10 to 30 percent of cancer cases can be attributed to random mutations in DNA, according to a study published this week (December16) in Nature. Rather, the majority of cancer cases stem from carcinogens such as toxic chemicals and radiation, the researchers found.
“There’s no question what’s at stake here,” John Potter of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, who was not involved in which study told Nature. “This informs whether or not we expend energy on prevention.”More.
The wild card here is epigenetics—the changes in genes during one’s lifetime that may make oneself and/or one’s descendants more susceptible to a problem.
A commenter writes,
What we see here is another refutation of neo-Darwinian nonsense at the same time as the launch of the Precision Medicine Intiative in the USA, which will elimate any remaining neo-Darwinian theory and allow scientific progress to be made by serious scientists who understand how cell type differentiation occurs, and how it is perturbed by viruses during thermodynamic cycles of protein biosynthesis and degradation.
We assume that, by neo-Darwinian nonsense, he means. “There’s a gene for that…”, a pre-determined inheritance of health problems. If epigenetics mediates the relations between genes and environment, not only is it all much more complex, but the role of prevention strategies changes.
Put another way, if we think that certain people are likely to just get cancer no matter what, we might focus on early detection. If we think that lifestyle management can prevent many cases in this generation and the next, we might focus on health awareness as well.
Interesting research opportunities ahead, if allowed.
See also: Worth a read: Epigenetics and cancer
Epigenetics: Could cancer sometimes be an outcome of failure?
Epigenetic change: Lamarck, wake up, you’re wanted in the conference room!
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