The face of the enemy

This new video shows how a cancerous breast cell actively captures and pulls in healthy cells to form tumors. It was posted by scientists at the University of Iowa.

Dr. David Soll, a biology professor at the university who was part of the research team, said it takes as little as 5 percent of cancerous cells in the body to form tumors in this way, a fact that was previously unknown. Rather than cells just sticking together or multiplying in place, these “hunter” cells actively send out cable-like structures to capture and pull in other cells.

Knowledge may be power, but it’s still unnerving to watch these rogue cells in action, behaving so … purposefully.


The original paper, “Mediated coalescence: a possible mechanism for tumor cellular heterogeneity,” was published in the American Journal of Cancer Research.


4 thoughts on “The face of the enemy

  1. philosophermouseofthehedge Monday, February 01, 2016 / 6:26 pm MDT

    You just have to wonder about conscious thought, random movement or what is going on. Unknown worlds (Oh, heard there’s a bunch of snow headed your way from CA? Hope it’s pretty and you don’t have to get out!)

    • PiedType Monday, February 01, 2016 / 6:39 pm MDT

      It’s all too easy to imagine that cell is actually thinking and planning its next move.
      Yep, enough snow today that I cancelled my doctor appointment. Turns out tomorrow may actually be the worst day, but what’s done is done.

      • philosophermouseofthehedge Tuesday, February 02, 2016 / 7:54 am MDT

        I had a biology prof that said once that it’s lucky humans can’t hear and feel all the activity by organs, fluids, and cells in the body – without filters we’d all be insane.
        Winter’s back. Front seems to be arriving much earlier than they expected today – barely got Molly her walk (in the fog) before feeling rain drops. Take a hint from pets: naps are good. Stay snug

        • PiedType Tuesday, February 02, 2016 / 10:58 am MDT

          The prof made a good point. It’s disturbing enough just to hear an occasional belly gurgle or ear pop or heartbeat. I’m not interested in hearing a soundtrack of everything that’s going on in there. Especially not of cancer cells slurping up healthy cells. Ugh.

          Yep, staying in and snug. Looks like the worst may have passed, but I’m making no plans to go out yet.

"You don’t have to say everything to say something." ~Beth Moore

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