The Human Cancer That Became a New Species


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This story is almost too strange. Some cells taken from a woman's cervical cancer continued to divide and live on, indefinitely, through today and—to all appearances—far into the future. She died 56 years ago, yet the cells from her body are still used widely in cancer research and also helped in the cure for the polio vaccine. The oddest thing about it is that the cells do everything an organism needs to do (e.g., self-propagate, consume, excrete) so scientists say it's a new species—that evolved from this woman's cancer cells while in her body! I think this is exceedingly strange. The Wikipedia article has a bunch of good links, if you don't quite believe it (as I didn't, at first).

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