When chemotherapy or radiotherapy don't work, why not turn to some nice friendly Clostridia bacteria? Because the family Clostridia includes things like botulism and tetanus? You pansy. It turns out that some Clostridia don't actually lock your jaw shut then make you try to throw up through it, and only grow in low-oxygen environments. Like the clumps of dead cells in a big tumor.
These cellular secret agents can sneak into the heart of clumps of cancer cells, start replicating and can deploy a pre-installed genetic payload which generally ruins the tumor's whole entire day. The bacteria then presumably stroll out of the exploding tumor to bang the hot bacterial babe it met earlier in the film. They certainly aren't immediately killed by big doses of antibiotics (that's no way to end a movie).
Prevention is better than a cure, and if that prevention means ungodly tinkering with the very genetic code of life then all the better! University of Kentucky researchers have identified a gene which pretty much cancer-proofs mice, making them resistant to even "highly aggressive" types of tumors. Exactly how they tested this is unclear, but we suspect it involves thousands of very tiny cigarettes and mice squeaking about how they're definitely quitting this time.
We're not sure why they decided to cancer-proof mice first, but we suspect it's to make up for the generally crappy things scientists do to mice: sticking them in mazes all the time, cutting them open to see what's inside and trying pretty aggressively to give them cancer. The "Par-4" gene responsible is passed on by mice to their offspring and has also been found to extend their lives. At this point we'd like to point out that attempts to similarly improve humans are strictly banned.
Maybe it's because, from the beginning, the scientists behind this test were only interested in helping mice avoid cancer, or maybe it's because the people in charge are pussies and apparently think a good solid dose of cancer is character-building.
If you didn't expect the cure to one of mankind's greatest ills to come from the Israeli Desert Scorpion (also known as the "Deathstalker") raise your hand. If you did, shut up you lying prick. A group of scientists who, evidently, graduated from the Marvel School of Medicine have decided that radioactive scorpion venom will probably cure cancer. The possibility of death and the even greater possibility of the creation of an unstoppable super army of scorpion men is, apparently, a chance we'll just have to take.
The scientists in question took the neurotoxic chemical cocktail from That Which Stalks Death and irradiated it themselves, undoubtedly as preparation for the most epic "I dare you to drink this" in history. Working at the awesomely named "Transmolecular Corporation" in Massachusetts, they found one of the few ingredients in the venom which doesn't kill you.
Instead it binds to cancer cells, presumably on the grounds that if it's come all this way it's going to kill something. If scientists just happen to have made those molecules radioactive, any malignant cells in your body will suddenly find themselves being irradiated to death.
Or, if Marvel is any indication, it'll be, you know, that unstoppable super army thing.
You may remember your college days as being filled with beer and, well, not remember much else (those facts might be related). In what could possibly be the greatest food-medicine crossover since we started developing a candy bar that also makes your penis larger, some Rice University students in Texas are working on a beer that battles cancer and heart disease. While their "Cancer Beer" may not be as marketable as our new Reese's Penis Better Cups, (coming soon!), it's probably slightly more useful in the grand scheme of things.
The "BioBeer" is genetically designed to contain cancer-combating chemical resveratrol. While any tins of the actual brew are still a long way off, as you may have noticed from the lack of "Nobel Prize Awarded to College Students" headlines, the team is currently engineering the special yeast strain which will produce both resveratrol and ferment sweet, sweet booze. The end result will fight cancer, reduce the risk of heart disease and, most importantly, get you drunk. For a social group who stereotypically don't believe in heaven, scientists sure are working hard to get us there.
Now that you're feeling warm and fuzzy about science, check out how it's going to destroy us in The 5 Scientific Experiments Most Likely to End the World. Or find out Why You Don't Steal From Cracked.com.
You can read more of Luke McKinney's stuff at LukeMcKinney.org.