Cary Renquist cary.renquist at ezag.com
Thu Mar 29 13:32:35 CDT 2012

Might be of interest to some of you...
All the papers are freely readable (online or download pdf)

AIP Advances 

It has been a real pleasure to have worked with Professor Bernard
Gerstman of the Department of Physics at the Florida International
University on this special issue of The Physics of Cancer for AIP
Two questions probably spring to mind for the prospective reader of this
issue: \why cancer, and why physics"? Let's tackle the \why cancer?"
first. If cancer was just another one of the many diseases afflicting
mankind it would of course be worthy of study but no more so than other
diseases. However, there seems to be something quite special about
cancer that makes it of intense scientific interest. That special thing
is that we do not understand cancer well enough to have more than the
flimsiest means of controlling it, let alone actually decreasing the
mortality rate due to cancer. Figure 1 taken from the National Cancer
Institute is an example of the rather grim picture in spite of many
billions of dollars spent on cancer: the age-adjusted mortality rate is
essentially flat over the past 40 years.
"Why physics?" I have been claiming (I am hardly the only one of course)
for a few years that physics has to expand its horizons to accept the
fact that biology may represent an intellectual challenge every bit as
worthy as our attempts to find the Higgs boson, or grasp the emergence
of collective phenomena in condensed matter systems, or understand the
dynamics of quantum mechanics in atomic systems. It is possible that
there remain truly deep mysteries in biology that we have not yet
formulated from a physics perspective, but which may yield to the ideas
in physics that have been so successful. The fact that we really have
been stymied in dealing with cancer means to me that conceptually we
really are facing a deep mystery.

Best regards,

Cary Renquist
crenquist at isotopeproducts.com or cary.renquist at ezag.com

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