Catharina Svanborg says she does; it is human breast milk, and it is killing cancer cells! It has been extremely difficult to convince her science colleagues that the work she is doing is for real! Her lab is not large, and she does not qualify as a high-profile, “big scientist.” Besides, her specialty is not even cancer at all but infectious disease. David Solomon, a cancer researcher at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) says that novel ideas in science always challenge the current paradigm. Furthermore, he said, “If this work had come from a well-known lab at the NCI, you’d have reporters calling six days to Sunday. You’d have scientists eager to collaborate. But it’s coming from a small lab in a foreign country. It’s like General Motors versus a garage operation.” The discovery was made at Lund University in Sweden, in 1993, when a graduate student of Dr. Svanborg came rushing into her office with some weird news unrelated to the topic that he was actually researching.
He had been looking for how mother’s milk fights bacteria in a tissue culture (tissue cultures use cancer cells) and discovered that the milk also caused the cancer cells to disappear. When Svanborg looked into the microscope, she discovered that the cancer cells were “committing suicide!” The thing about cancer cells is that typically they reproduce forever without limits. Dr. Svanborg did not feel ready to share her knowledge with the world until August, 1995. In her background work, she discovered a piece of evidence that helped her theory that human milk can protect against cancer.
The study showed that the risk of childhood lymphoma is nine times higher in bottle-fed infants. She and her student wondered if there was some connection in the breast feeding and the discovery that they had made in the lab. The actual portion of the breast milk that killed the cancer cells was a protein called alpha-lactalbumin (sometimes, called alpha-lac). Just how was this normal protein in human breast milk persuading the cancer cells to commit suicide? Discuss the following questions:
I would like to give fare warning it is 2320 hours, 19 Sep 2014 and I am in a real blunt mood.
1. Where is the National Cancer Institute? The National Cancer Institute is located on the NIH campus at 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, with satellite offices in Rockville and Frederick, MD. But to be honest it is located at www.cancer.gov.
2. Why did Dr. Solomon say that novel ideas in science always challenge the current paradigms? Isn’t science supposed to be about new ideas? Try to justify what he meant by his statement. She made this statement because it is true! Everything new has the potential to challenge the status quo. Of course science is supposed to be about new ideas but in the medical field it is always tied back to money! If there is no money to be made or no money to support funding than it really does not matter what you discover, even if it where the cure to cancer. Because there is no money in curing cancer however, there are billions of dollars in treating it.
3. Why would a scientist like Dr. Svanborg be reluctant to publish too soon an idea that breast milk fights cancer? It is science after all it cannot just be an idea, he must produce multiple studies at different locations by different credible scientists before she has a fighting chance of being found valid.
4. Why are cancer cells used in tissue cultures even when researchers are not even studying cancer? Because of their unlimited potential of rapid reproduction and ability to thrive almost anywhere.
5. What is known about the life expectancy of most normal cells? How does that information relate to the first question? Not sure what qualifies as normal but I am going to assume the answer you want is less than a month. The problem is I think you meant to ask “how does this relate to the previous question” but since you copied and pasted this assignment from http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/genbio/casestudies/gotmilk.mhtml there are errors in the assignment. 6. What is the scientific name given to cells committing suicide? Why would cells commit suicide normally? Apoptosis. There are several reasons but mainly it is in order to keep the organism as a whole alive.
7. How does the finding that infants raised with breast milk were nine times less susceptible than bottle-fed infants to lymphoma demonstrate that there may be a link between something in human milk and cancer cell destruction? When you have two seemly identical test groups with only one variable it can be used to narrow down the source of these infants being less susceptible to lymphoma.
8. What does the discovery of cancer-killing effects of breast milk while looking for effects of milk on bacteria tell you about the process of science? Science is messy and unpredictable no matter how hard we try to control and organize it.
Although you are correct Chris and I did thoroughly enjoy reading your discussion one post do you think maybe you were just trying to find the easiest thing to comment on. I mean does it really matter? At the end of the day, it is 2014 and everyone is going to www.cancer.gov or google anyway.
Rocio if you could please help me understand how you came to the conclusion that scientists(plural) will definitely(meaning certainly, not ‘defiantly’ meaning disobediently) promote breast feeding and also what information you read that showed any scientific benefits to the mother? Please proof read your posts, a few letters changes the entire meaning of what you are trying to say.