Even seemingly straightforward questions, when probed by people in search of proof, lead to more questions. Those questions lead to nuances, layers of complexity and, more often than we might expect, conclusions that contradict initial intuition.
In the 1990s, researchers asking “How do we fight oxygen-hungry cancer cells?” offered an obvious solution: Starve them of oxygen by cutting off their blood supply. But as Laura Beil describes in “Deflating cancer”, oxygen deprivation actually drives cancer to grow and spread. Scientists have responded by seeking new strategies: Block the formation of collagen highways, for instance, or even, as Beil writes, give the cells “more blood, not less.”