Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cancer cells might be Creative

I have heard a few times that human beings are comparable to cancer (not a positive view, sorry) in the sense that humans: (1) drain resources from the other members of an ecosystem, (2) grow at a disproportionately high rate when compared to fellow animals, and (3) cause ecosystems to malfunction due to the previous two behaviors.
It can also be argued that human beings have their advantage due to the combination of a creative brain and social skills. Physically, human beings are hardly a match for most other animals. So, taking this analogy back to cancerous cells, would be appropriate to say that cancer cells have a sort of "creativity" that is lacking in other cells. Just as a "better" brain is defined by the amount of information it can process, it is arguable that cancer cells process more information than other well differentiated cells, partly because cancer cells can perform a myriad of functions.  


  1. That famous dialogue from the movie 'The Matrix' (year 1999 ) has similar theme of your idea.

    1. Interesting thoughts. I always felt the most apt comparison was to bacteria: adapt to a new enviroment and then replicate as fast as possible until the resources are drained, then move on. Most animals are microscopic! The reason humans rule the planet is that we hunt in the biggest packs--150 hunters with spears can take down any Pleistocene mammal.

      Check out the totally tumors epp of Radiolab!