"What is an enemy, who is he to us, and how must we deal with him? Another way to put it, for example, is: What is cancer? - a growing collection of malignant cells that we must at all costs expel, excise, reject? Or something like a parasite, with which we must negotiate a contract of symbiosis? I lean toward the second solution, as life itself does. l’m even willing to bet that in the future the best treatment for cancer will switch from eliminating it to a method that will profit from its dynamism.
Why? Because, objectively, we have to continue living with cancers, with germs, with evil and even violence. It’s better to find a symbiotic equilibrium, even fairly primitive, than to reopen a war that is always lost because we and the enemy find renewed force in the relationship. If we were to implacably dean up ail the germs, as Puritanism would have us do, they would soon become
resistant to our techniques of elimination and require new armaments. Instead, why not culture them in curdled milk, which sometimes results in delicious cheeses?"
Quote source: Michel Serres, Conversations on Science, Culture, and Time
Inspiration for posting: Re-engineering human cells to attack cancer