Originally posted by robhines
Thanks to those that answered my question(s). I still think a lot of this is bizarre and probably just a messed up mutation than anything to do with
real evolutionary extra DNA strands appearing, or re-appearing though.
Cancer cells are "broken" (they don't function like the real cells that they are replacing.) This is a mutation and has been around all the while
-- it's just that you have to catch the cells at exactly the RIGHT moment.
In order to get a picture of the cancer cells, researchers have to kill them (freeze them in time) and then put special dyes on them (that are
absorbed into the cells.) If you don't have the dye (stain) or use fluorescent biomarkers (as they did this time) then you can't actually make out
the structures. The chance of catching a cell at a certain phase in division is small.
There appears to be earlier research that found these quadruple helix (knots) structures in other cells from non-human (animal) sources.