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Altruistic behaviour observed at a cellular level

Submitted by Karthik on 17 June, 2012 - 13:32

Altruism has long been a contentious issue in evolutionary biology as it is a counter-intuitive fit in the Darwinian theory of natural selection. While altruistic behaviour has been studied in colonies of bacteria, a recently published paper indicates that it can also occur at a cellular level. Bikul Das, a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine has shown that certain human embryonic stem cells, in times of stress, produce molecules that not only benefit themselves, but also help nearby cells survive.

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