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Science × Rhymes (#17) Cellular Cheaters

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Published on Jul 29, 2015

Each week, Tom chooses an article from the New York Times science section and translates it into verse. This week, Jane Reynolds joins in to sing about new research showing the prevalence of “cheating cells” and cancer-like phenomena across the tree of life.

"Cellular ‘Cheaters’ Give Rise to Cancer" by George Johnson, in The New York Times: http://goo.gl/rm4hLx

“Cancer across the tree of life: cooperation and cheating in multicellularity” by C. Athena Aktipis, Amy M. Boddy, Gunther Jansen, Urszula Hibner, Michael E. Hochberg, Carlo C. Maley, Gerald S. Wilkinson in Philosophical Transactions B: http://goo.gl/88jPmy

Video by 3Motion Creative: http://3motioncreative.com/

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LYRICS
Us cells we stick together.
We’ve got a common goal
Sacrifice a little
So the organism's whole.
All that's out the window
When a maverick cell decides
To cheat its way on back
to that unicellular life.

Most cells on planet Earth
Are single, solitary.
But in dogs and cats and cacti
Things can get a little hairy.
You see cheaters sometimes prosper
But they can never win.
When they trade cooperation
For competition.

It's not just in us humans.
It's not just in lab mice.
It's in hydras and in coral.
And in plants and in fungi.
We've got lot of questions
We're slowly finding answers.
Cuz these cheaters are the key
To understanding cancer.

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