full transcript

From the Ted Talk by George Zaidan and Charles Morton: How do cancer cells behave differently from healthy ones?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

We all start life as one sgline cell. Then that cell divides and we are two cells, then four, then eight. Cells form tissues, tissues form organs, organs form us. These cell divisions, by which we go from a single cell to 100 trillion cells, are cllead growth. And growth seems like a simple thing because when we think of it, we typically think of someone getting taller or, later in life, wider, but to cells, gtrwoh isn't simple. Cell division is an intricate chemical dance that's part individual, part community-driven. And in a noheboihrgod of 100 trillion cells, some tmies things go wrong. Maybe an iivudidanl cell's set of instructions, or DNA, gets a typo, what we call a mutation. Most of the time, the cell senses mistakes and shuts itself down, or the system detects a troublemaker and eliminates it. But, enough mttnoaius can bypass the fail-safes, dnviirg the cell to divide recklessly. That one rogue cell becomes two, then four, then eight. At every stage, the incorrect instructions are passed along to the cells' ofprisfng. wekes, months, or years after that one ruoge cell transformed, you might see your dotcor about a lump in your baerst. Difficulty going to the bathroom could reveal a problem in your intestine, prostate, or bddlear. Or, a riotune bolod test might count too many white cells or elevated liver enzymes. Your doctor delivers the bad news: it's cancer. From here your strategy will depend on where the ccaner is and how far it's progressed. If the tmour is slow-growing and in one place, surgery might be all you need, if anything. If the tumor is fast-growing or invading nearby tissue, your doctor might recommend radtiaoin or surgery followed by radiation. If the cancer has spread, or if it's inherently everywhere like a leukemia, your doctor will most likely recommend chemotherapy or a combination of radiation and cemho. Radiation and most forms of chemo work by physically shredding the cells' DNA or diruistpng the cionypg machinery. But neither radiation nor chemotherapeutic drugs target only cancer cells. Radiation hits whatever you point it at, and your blood starem carries chemo-therapeutics all over your body. So, what happens when different clles get hit? Let's look at a healthy liver cell, a healthy hair cell, and a cancerous cell. The healthy liver cell divides only when it is stressed; the healthy hair cell divides frequently; and the cancer cell divides even more frequently and recklessly. When you take a chemotherapeutic drug, it will hit all of these cells. And remember that the drugs work typically by disrupting cell division. So, every time a cell divides, it opens itself up to attack, and that means the more frequently a cell divides, the more likely the drug is to kill it. So, remember that hair cell? It dveiids frequently and isn't a tharet. And, there are other flertqenuy dividing cells in your body like skin cells, gut cells, and blood cells. So the list of unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment pallarles these tsusie types: hair loss, skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weight loss, and pain. That makes sense because these are the cells that get hit the hardest. So, in the end, it is all about growth. Cancer hkijacs cells' natural doisivin machinery and forces them to put the pedal to the metal, growing rapidly and recklessly. But, using chemotherapeutic drugs, we take aagtadvne of that aggressiveness, and we turn cancer's main strength into a wekneass.

Open Cloze

We all start life as one ______ cell. Then that cell divides and we are two cells, then four, then eight. Cells form tissues, tissues form organs, organs form us. These cell divisions, by which we go from a single cell to 100 trillion cells, are ______ growth. And growth seems like a simple thing because when we think of it, we typically think of someone getting taller or, later in life, wider, but to cells, ______ isn't simple. Cell division is an intricate chemical dance that's part individual, part community-driven. And in a ____________ of 100 trillion cells, some _____ things go wrong. Maybe an __________ cell's set of instructions, or DNA, gets a typo, what we call a mutation. Most of the time, the cell senses mistakes and shuts itself down, or the system detects a troublemaker and eliminates it. But, enough _________ can bypass the fail-safes, _______ the cell to divide recklessly. That one rogue cell becomes two, then four, then eight. At every stage, the incorrect instructions are passed along to the cells' _________. _____, months, or years after that one _____ cell transformed, you might see your ______ about a lump in your ______. Difficulty going to the bathroom could reveal a problem in your intestine, prostate, or _______. Or, a _______ _____ test might count too many white cells or elevated liver enzymes. Your doctor delivers the bad news: it's cancer. From here your strategy will depend on where the ______ is and how far it's progressed. If the _____ is slow-growing and in one place, surgery might be all you need, if anything. If the tumor is fast-growing or invading nearby tissue, your doctor might recommend _________ or surgery followed by radiation. If the cancer has spread, or if it's inherently everywhere like a leukemia, your doctor will most likely recommend chemotherapy or a combination of radiation and _____. Radiation and most forms of chemo work by physically shredding the cells' DNA or __________ the _______ machinery. But neither radiation nor chemotherapeutic drugs target only cancer cells. Radiation hits whatever you point it at, and your blood ______ carries chemo-therapeutics all over your body. So, what happens when different _____ get hit? Let's look at a healthy liver cell, a healthy hair cell, and a cancerous cell. The healthy liver cell divides only when it is stressed; the healthy hair cell divides frequently; and the cancer cell divides even more frequently and recklessly. When you take a chemotherapeutic drug, it will hit all of these cells. And remember that the drugs work typically by disrupting cell division. So, every time a cell divides, it opens itself up to attack, and that means the more frequently a cell divides, the more likely the drug is to kill it. So, remember that hair cell? It _______ frequently and isn't a ______. And, there are other __________ dividing cells in your body like skin cells, gut cells, and blood cells. So the list of unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment _________ these ______ types: hair loss, skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weight loss, and pain. That makes sense because these are the cells that get hit the hardest. So, in the end, it is all about growth. Cancer _______ cells' natural ________ machinery and forces them to put the pedal to the metal, growing rapidly and recklessly. But, using chemotherapeutic drugs, we take _________ of that aggressiveness, and we turn cancer's main strength into a ________.

Solution

  1. neighborhood
  2. divides
  3. bladder
  4. frequently
  5. parallels
  6. single
  7. blood
  8. individual
  9. chemo
  10. routine
  11. tissue
  12. advantage
  13. division
  14. doctor
  15. stream
  16. growth
  17. tumor
  18. cells
  19. hijacks
  20. times
  21. rogue
  22. cancer
  23. copying
  24. disrupting
  25. radiation
  26. driving
  27. weeks
  28. mutations
  29. called
  30. offspring
  31. weakness
  32. breast
  33. threat

Original Text

We all start life as one single cell. Then that cell divides and we are two cells, then four, then eight. Cells form tissues, tissues form organs, organs form us. These cell divisions, by which we go from a single cell to 100 trillion cells, are called growth. And growth seems like a simple thing because when we think of it, we typically think of someone getting taller or, later in life, wider, but to cells, growth isn't simple. Cell division is an intricate chemical dance that's part individual, part community-driven. And in a neighborhood of 100 trillion cells, some times things go wrong. Maybe an individual cell's set of instructions, or DNA, gets a typo, what we call a mutation. Most of the time, the cell senses mistakes and shuts itself down, or the system detects a troublemaker and eliminates it. But, enough mutations can bypass the fail-safes, driving the cell to divide recklessly. That one rogue cell becomes two, then four, then eight. At every stage, the incorrect instructions are passed along to the cells' offspring. Weeks, months, or years after that one rogue cell transformed, you might see your doctor about a lump in your breast. Difficulty going to the bathroom could reveal a problem in your intestine, prostate, or bladder. Or, a routine blood test might count too many white cells or elevated liver enzymes. Your doctor delivers the bad news: it's cancer. From here your strategy will depend on where the cancer is and how far it's progressed. If the tumor is slow-growing and in one place, surgery might be all you need, if anything. If the tumor is fast-growing or invading nearby tissue, your doctor might recommend radiation or surgery followed by radiation. If the cancer has spread, or if it's inherently everywhere like a leukemia, your doctor will most likely recommend chemotherapy or a combination of radiation and chemo. Radiation and most forms of chemo work by physically shredding the cells' DNA or disrupting the copying machinery. But neither radiation nor chemotherapeutic drugs target only cancer cells. Radiation hits whatever you point it at, and your blood stream carries chemo-therapeutics all over your body. So, what happens when different cells get hit? Let's look at a healthy liver cell, a healthy hair cell, and a cancerous cell. The healthy liver cell divides only when it is stressed; the healthy hair cell divides frequently; and the cancer cell divides even more frequently and recklessly. When you take a chemotherapeutic drug, it will hit all of these cells. And remember that the drugs work typically by disrupting cell division. So, every time a cell divides, it opens itself up to attack, and that means the more frequently a cell divides, the more likely the drug is to kill it. So, remember that hair cell? It divides frequently and isn't a threat. And, there are other frequently dividing cells in your body like skin cells, gut cells, and blood cells. So the list of unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment parallels these tissue types: hair loss, skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weight loss, and pain. That makes sense because these are the cells that get hit the hardest. So, in the end, it is all about growth. Cancer hijacks cells' natural division machinery and forces them to put the pedal to the metal, growing rapidly and recklessly. But, using chemotherapeutic drugs, we take advantage of that aggressiveness, and we turn cancer's main strength into a weakness.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
cell divides 4
single cell 2
cell division 2
rogue cell 2
healthy liver 2
healthy hair 2

Important Words

  1. advantage
  2. aggressiveness
  3. attack
  4. bad
  5. bathroom
  6. bladder
  7. blood
  8. body
  9. breast
  10. bypass
  11. call
  12. called
  13. cancer
  14. cancerous
  15. carries
  16. cell
  17. cells
  18. chemical
  19. chemo
  20. chemotherapeutic
  21. chemotherapy
  22. combination
  23. copying
  24. count
  25. dance
  26. delivers
  27. depend
  28. detects
  29. difficulty
  30. disrupting
  31. divide
  32. divides
  33. dividing
  34. division
  35. divisions
  36. dna
  37. doctor
  38. driving
  39. drug
  40. drugs
  41. effects
  42. elevated
  43. eliminates
  44. enzymes
  45. fatigue
  46. forces
  47. form
  48. forms
  49. frequently
  50. growing
  51. growth
  52. gut
  53. hair
  54. hardest
  55. healthy
  56. hijacks
  57. hit
  58. hits
  59. incorrect
  60. individual
  61. inherently
  62. instructions
  63. intestine
  64. intricate
  65. invading
  66. kill
  67. leukemia
  68. life
  69. list
  70. liver
  71. loss
  72. lump
  73. machinery
  74. main
  75. means
  76. metal
  77. mistakes
  78. months
  79. mutation
  80. mutations
  81. natural
  82. nausea
  83. nearby
  84. neighborhood
  85. offspring
  86. opens
  87. organs
  88. pain
  89. parallels
  90. part
  91. passed
  92. pedal
  93. physically
  94. place
  95. point
  96. problem
  97. progressed
  98. prostate
  99. put
  100. radiation
  101. rapidly
  102. rashes
  103. recklessly
  104. recommend
  105. remember
  106. reveal
  107. rogue
  108. routine
  109. sense
  110. senses
  111. set
  112. shredding
  113. shuts
  114. side
  115. simple
  116. single
  117. skin
  118. spread
  119. stage
  120. start
  121. strategy
  122. stream
  123. strength
  124. surgery
  125. system
  126. taller
  127. target
  128. test
  129. threat
  130. time
  131. times
  132. tissue
  133. tissues
  134. transformed
  135. treatment
  136. trillion
  137. troublemaker
  138. tumor
  139. turn
  140. typically
  141. typo
  142. unpleasant
  143. vomiting
  144. weakness
  145. weeks
  146. weight
  147. white
  148. wider
  149. work
  150. wrong
  151. years