Abstract
Between 1975 and 1985 a series of experiments demonstrated that cancer, whatever its causative agent, is due to the activation, by modification or overexpression, of a family of genes highly conserved during evolution, called the cellular oncogenes. These genes participate in the control of cell division in every living cell. Their products belong to the regulatory network relaying external signals from the membranes towards the nucleus and allowing cells to adapt their division rate to the demand of the organism. These discoveries constitute what may be called the 'oncogene paradigm'. Although the existence of cellular oncogenes, assumed in early models of oncogenesis, was demonstrated as early as 1976, we will show in this article that this discovery was not sufficient for the development of the new paradigm. We will describe its slow and complex formation between 1980 and 1985 followed by its rapid acceptance by the scientific community
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What Mechanisms Can’T Do: Explanatory Frameworks and the Function of the P53 Gene in Molecular Oncology.Alessandro Blasimme, Paolo Maugeri & Pierre-Luc Germain - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):374-384.
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