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Archive for April 7, 2014

Zombie Cancer Cells Return from the Dead

cancer cell

Zombies, they are the stuff of movies. But an interesting new study by the University of Colorado Cancer Center shows that sometimes reality mirrors fantasy. The study shows that cancer cells will partially eat themselves in times of distress just to come back to life and divide later on.

Autophagy [from the Greek “to eat oneself”] is a process in which proteins, or other surplus materials in the cell that are not explicitly needed for cellular function are cannibalized in times of stress. What was surprising, in this study we see this process used as a method to survive chemotherapy.