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Does evolution hold the key to creating, curing and preventing cancer?


​The other day, I was chaperoning a 2nd grade field trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science when the conversation turned, as it usually does, to the question of whether animal X would beat animal Y in a fight. The combat in question was that of Daeodon, a giant, carnivorous pig native to North America, Eurasia and Africa during the Miocene period, versus the tyrant lizard, T-Rex. If you’ve been to the museum, you know that the monster pig is the stuff of nightmares. But the answer was pretty obvious: T-Rex would totally win. Hands down.
 
The kids were pretty quick to the conclusion that not only would T-Rex make a quick snack out of Daeodon, but the tyrant lizard would easily munch on the short-faced bear too, largest of the Ice Age carnivores. In fact, when you look across the whole potential spectrum of theoretical mammal-versus-dinosaur duels – from the tiniest little proto-mammal versus its chicken-sized dinosaur ancestor, to packs of wolves versus packs of velociraptors – it’s pretty obvious that the dinosaurs would win every time.