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The River Thames has a storied history. Stretching 215 miles from Kemble to Southend, it is the longest river in England. Archaeological evidence suggests that humans were living along its shores in Neolithic times. Around the dawn of the Common Era, ancient Romans navigated its waters and constructed fortifications nearby. Nine hundred years later, Vikings from Scandinavia sailed up the Thames, leaving destruction in their wake. In the 1700s, the river served as a major hub for the thriving British Empire.

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Cancer will not be vanquished in one fell swoop. No singular breakthrough will blare across television, smartphone, and computer screens signaling once-and-for-all victory, sending jubilant thousands into the streets to cheer the demise of one of humankind's greatest mortal foes. Instead, many small advances wrought by dedicated scientists building off prior research will gradually bring malignant tumors to heel. A recent example: researchers in Israel used CRISPR gene editing to destroy cancerous cells in mice without harming other cells, doubling the creatures' life expectancy compared to untreated peers, with almost no side effects. Another recent example: In the wake of their success against COVID-19, mRNA vaccines are now being repurposed to battle tumors. Neither these methods nor the countless others out there constitute a silver bullet, but they all add up to something quite impactful. A newly published report from the American Cancer Society (ACS) reveals just how much.

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Humans' knack for consuming alcohol dates back around ten million years, long before Homo sapiens were a distinct species. A single gene mutation granted our evolutionary ancestors an enhanced ability to break down ethanol – drinking alcohol. Suddenly, some individuals could metabolize the alcohol from fermenting fruits on forest floors, converting it to energy and alleviating its toxic, incapacitating effects. Over time, these individuals survived and procreated more often, gradually granting almost all humans alcohol-imbibing abilities.