From the International Society for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, one of our readers learned recently,
We are pleased to invite you to join us for a Club EvMed event tomorrow, Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 12:00pm EDT.
Club EvMed: Evolution in the flesh: How cancer cells evolve to cheat the foundations of multicellular cooperation and what this means for cancer treatment and prevention
Join us for a conversation with Athena Aktipis, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University and co-Director of The Human Generosity Project. She’ll be discussing her new book, The Cheating Cell: How Evolution Helps Us Understand and Treat Cancer.
Cancer began at the dawn of multicellular life. It arises from cheating in the cellular cooperation that usually defines multicellularity: division of labor, restrictions of cellular proliferation and resources use, controls on cell death and more. Because cancer arises from a breakdown of multicellular cooperation, this means that humans are not alone in their struggle with cancer; cancer affects all multicellular life forms from humans to elephants and from coral to cacti. Multicellular life has evolved to keep cancer under control, through mechanisms like the gene TP53, which detects cellular cheating and responds by halting the cell cycle or initiating apoptosis to protect the organism. Treating cancer effectively also requires an understanding of the evolutionary processes among cells within the body. Cancer cells evolve to overproliferate and overconsume resources inside the body. They also evolve resistance when cancer is treated aggressively. By using evolutionarily informed approach to treatment we can transform cancer from being a disease that threatens our lives to one we can live with, as our multicellular ancestors have for millions of years.
Why is it that naturalism ends up sounding so much like folklore? Cells “cheat,” which means they can think like people, right? Oh wait. The mind is an illusion … but anyway, cells “think”? Sure. That’ll work.
See: Imagine a world of religions that naturalism might indeed be able to explain