Malignant misfortunes

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

CANCER, the Scourge Of the modern world, seems to have had its deadly effects even on the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, leading to their deaths. Juan Collar of the University of Carolina, us, believes that subatomic particles called neutrinos released from dying stars after collision with the nuclei of living atoms, could damage the DNA, an organism's genetic building blocks, producing cancer-causing mutations.

Collar observes that a dying star could produce about 12 malignant cells per kg of living tissue. The impact would be greater on dinosaurs as they had more tissue to become cancerous. Further, neutrinos were not affected by the outer layers of the body leaving the cancer to develop in susceptible tissues like bone marrow.

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