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No. 25: Jan-Feb 1983

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Why don't we all have cancer?

Biologists have just found that the difference between a normal human gene responsible for manufacturing a specific protein and a gene causing cancer is the replacement of a single nucleotide by another in a very long string of nucleotides. This is a very delicate situation. The difference between cancer and no cancer is simply too tiny. Given the high frequency of random changes (mutations), we should all have cancer. One implication is that humans (and other animals, too) have come up with some method of preventing or correcting these minor mutations -- otherwise we would have become extinct long ago. No one knows what this mechanism is or why it sometimes fails.

(Anonymous; "More Speculation about Oncogenes," Nature, 300;213, 1982.)

Reference. Other anomalies of cancer are cataloged in BHH23-35 in: Biological Anomalies: Humans II. For a description of this volume, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #25, JAN-FEB 1983. 1983-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987