Misperceptions in cell and cancer biology. What pioneers and followers of cell culture bestowed on these fields

Carlos Sonnenschein, Ana Soto


During the period 1907-1912, cell culture pioneers established the basic techniques that ever since have been adopted worldwide by experimental biologists and industry to explore diverse scientific and technological topics. As a result, the knowledge accrued illuminated areas of basic cellular and developmental biology. Inadvertently, however, the cell culture pioneers and their followers also introduced misconceptions that, to this day, have obfuscated progress in the very fields mentioned above. Among the latter, a crucial one has been the seldom explicit premise of quiescence as the default state of cells in multicellular organisms as a fact rather than as a postulate. This misperception has endured due to a lack of critical analysis of its relevance and to the lack of an evolutionary perspective by those cell culture pioneers and their followers. Herein, we describe and discuss why and how the above referred misperception took place and has mostly remained unchallenged. A gigantic effort will be needed to remove from the specialized literature and the textbooks the above mentioned misconceptions so new generations of biologists will reacquaint themselves with evolutionary relevant premises on which to base rigorous experimental protocols and interpretation of data.

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Organisms. Journal of Biological Sciences
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