Re: Telomeres, mutation rates and "breakthroughs"

From: John Clark (
Date: Mon May 01 2000 - 14:30:40 MDT

Robert J. Bradbury <> Wrote:

>Now, look at the difference between replication in the laboratory dish
>where you are pushing the cells as fast as possible (about 1 generation
>per day) in "perfect" culture media, with much lower exposure to toxins
>a very uniform level of oxygen (so you can tune the antioxidant defenses
>and/or repair rates appropriately) and a much reduced level of radiation
>esposure simply due to a shorter time period.

Hmm, I can think of two other factors, one helps me but to be honest the other
helps you.

You could say that a normal cell turning cancerous is always very rare and
the only reason we worry about it is that there are trillions in your body and it
only takes one to do so to kill you. A human tissue culture of non cancerous
cells is usually vary small, so even if you increased the cancer rate by a factor
of a thousand you probably wouldn't see it in a culture that weighs half a gram
but you probably would in a body that weighs 200 lbs.

I could say yes but you probably get cancer lots of times and never even know
it because your immune system kills the tumor when it's still microscopic.
A lab dish doesn't have much of an immune system.

Gee it's fun to debate yourself. Don't laugh, it beats siting around watching a cow
for 20 years to see who's is really right. There must be a better way.

          John K Clark

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