“Mutational cancer theories do not explain why cancers: 1) have clonal individual karyotypes; 2) have polygenic transcriptomes and phenotypes; 3) have flexible karyotypes, which evolve progressive malignancy and drug resistance, but maintain autonomy and even immortality; and 4) Why carcinogens induce cancer only after conspicuously long latent periods of years to decades. To answer these questions, this course tests a new karyotypic theory, which postulates that cancers evolve much like new species.”
The course description to MCB 118 - “The Cancer Karyotype: What it is and What it Does” by Molecular & Cell Biology professor Peter Duesberg.
If something seems off to you about the course description then you’re on to something, this “new karyotypic theory” is highly controversial because it’s most likely horseshit. However Peter is no stranger to controversy as one of the most prominent AIDS denialists in the world. He also might have won a Nobel Prize for his early work on cancer but that’s not likely to happen now because of his other work. I doubt that his “new theory” will help his cause.
The point of this post is that Peter is teaching a course again and I’m interested in taking it for the experience. I can’t think or name many biologists who are as polarizing as Peter but as a budding scientist it’s also important to “explore” or “consider” other options that aren’t orthodoxy.
It’s highly likely that I may walk away from this class knowing that I can never do anything with the information that I had to regurgitate for a letter grade but it’s also highly likely that I’ll walk away from such an experience knowing a lot more about how science functions when you’re wading into uncharted territory. I think that alone is worth giving this class a shot.