From Technology Review: “A small but growing number of people are finding interesting parallels between ecosystems as studied by ecologists (think of a Savanna or the Amazon rain forest or a Coral reef) and tumors.” So begin David Basanta and Alexander Anderson at the Moffitt Cancer Centre in Florida in a fascinating paper describing a new way of thinking about cancer and the way to treat it. They point out that it’s more or less impossible to understand any creature or its behavior without thinking carefully about the environment in which it lives and evolves.  “As convenient as it would be for cancer biologists to study tumor cells in isolation, that makes as much sense as trying to understand frogs without considering that they tend to live near swamps and feast on insects,” say Basanta and Anderson . What would biologists make of a frog’s sticky tongue without knowing how it is used for catching flies, for example?

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