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I just learned about the phenomenon of 'cell fusion' in which two diploid somatic cells can combine into some aneuploid cell in vitro and proceed to proliferate in culture. Apparently this can even happen interspecifically. My question is, what stops cells that grow naturally in the body from fusing all the time and creating abnormal cells?

Or, does this happen somewhat often and produce potentially cancerous cells, which are then destroyed by the body's normal regulatory mechanisms (I guess it could slip these as well and turn into a problem).

Could this be why we normally have many benign growths over the course of an animal's lifetime?

Any related reading would be super appreciated, thanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ Maybe an easiest question is why and how do such a cell-fusion occurs? $\endgroup$ – Untitpoi May 16 '18 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Untitpoi afaik it happens spontaneously among in vitro co-cultures, and that using some fusogen (like polyethylene glycol) 'speeds up' the process by disrupting the cell membrane. I'll investigate further, thanks! $\endgroup$ – Diio May 16 '18 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Untitpoi So I've looked into that a tiny bit more and you are totally asking the right question, thanks so much! $\endgroup$ – Diio May 16 '18 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting question, it would be strengthened by linking to a paper. $\endgroup$ – Michael_A May 16 '18 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ If as a result of the suggestion @Untitpoi made you have answered your question, it would be useful if you could include it in an answer here. This is quite permissible and good practice in such cases. $\endgroup$ – David May 17 '18 at 7:40

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