Sunday, February 26, 2006
As we suspected, the asymetric division of a stem cell makes sure the older chromatid is retained to minimise accumulation of errors. This reminded me of some work not that long ago about aging in bacteria, and in yeast. Does asymmetric division underly culture immortality ? If so, the stem cell hypothesis of cancer has to be true. With more and more labs looking for those stem cells it has become evident that they exist in certain cases, but I am unconvinced for the majority of cancers. Am I the only one who can grow cells to confluence starting from just one? High error rates and rampant replication give more variation for natural selection to work on and this is the very essence of cancer. If there is only a small pool of cancer stem cell to begin, then variation is severly limited. And in a solid tumour, shouldn't those cells get stuck in the middle, where necrosis gradualy takes over? I just don't buy it.
Posted by Anonymous Coward at 11:35 PM