Cancer Made to Order

Researchers can now turn cells malignant in a test tube. It's easy--and it might lead to a cure

Scientists have known for more than two decades that cancer is a disease of the genes. Something scrambles the Dna inside a nucleus, and suddenly, instead of dividing in a measured fashion, a cell begins to copy itself furiously. Unlike an ordinary cell, it never stops. But describing the process isn't the same as figuring it out. Cancer cells are so radically different from normal ones that it's almost impossible to untangle the sequence of events that made them that way. So for years researchers have been attacking the problem by taking normal cells and trying to determine what changes will...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!