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Cancers, Viruses, and the Evolution of Fear

In The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biographic of Cancer, the oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, intuits, “Down to their innate molecular core, cancer cells are hyperactive, survival-endowed, scrappy, fecund, inventive copies of ourselves.”1 Replace “cancer cells” with “viruses” and the quote holds equally true. Darwinian perpetrators of genomic dysregulation, many viruses have integrated foundationally into…

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