Snuffy looked up at the sunset. She enjoyed the science of astronomy ever since she was fifteen. She remembered Mrs. Gauze, who was supposed to be teaching chemistry, go off topic and display her love for the stars. She explained to her students that there were innumerable stars in each galaxy and that they were so far away that even light took several millennia in some cases to reach Earth from them. Snuffy looked down at the mass of materials before her. Two round piece of glass, one large and one small, a circuit board, two electrical wires, a plug, and five cylindrical metal tubes of incremental sizes awaited her assembly. To assist her in performing this feat were only a humble blowtorch, a screwdriver, and four screws.
She took the blowtorch and welded the metal of the largest cylinder with the large glass. Afterwards, she took the circuit board and screwed it onto the average sized cylinder. Then she hooked one of the wires to the plug and attached the item to the circuit board. She attached the second wire to both the circuit board and the large glass. Thereafter she welded the small glass to the smallest cylinder. Lastly, she welded the cylinders together in ascending order by size. She plugged in the plug and stood in admiration of her new telescope. This was her third attempt at making a telescope to view Cancer’s Comet with. The previous attempts both ended in permanent eye damage so Snuffy wore protective glasses as a precaution. She aimed the telescope towards the rising moon and looked through the viewing lens. She could see every crater with fantastic clarity and even saw two astronauts walking across the moon’s surface. She began to pace around the room in glee.
“This is remarkable!” she exclaimed to herself. “I’ll surely be able to see Cancer’s Comet with this!” Just then a streak of white ran across the black clad sky. Excitedly, she returned to the telescope and put Cancer’s Comet into its view. Quickly she got her video camera and placed it in the lens. Her petite figure quivered with happiness as she made the first close-up video of a comet in history. She went to upload the video to her computer; however to her dismay some of her files were corrupted. Frantically, she tried to access her informative essay about Cancer’s Comet, but the computer prompted that the file was among the corrupted. She clicked the “show details” button and the computer generated a message reading “File: ‘Cancer’s Comet’ is irrecoverable and was likely infected by a virus.”
At first her sadness overwhelmed her. Snuffy had spent five days cumulating information about Cancer’s Comet and her report was due to her colleagues the next day. Then she realized that this setback could render good results. She looked at the computer message again and noticed that if Cancer represented the disease rather than the tropic of Cancer, the computer would be implying a cure to cancer: by viral infection. Within an hour she had obtained all of the vital information of proving the hypothesis. According to her research, viruses could either kill a cell instantly (the lytic stage) or lie in wait for a signal from the cell that the immune system was weak (the non-lytic stage). She also discovered that cancerous cells have a different protein alignment in the nucleus than non cancerous cells. She formulated that if she could genetically alter a virus to stay in the non-lytic stage until the cancerous protein alignment occurred, cancer cells could be destroyed before they form a tumor. She sought aid from the lab and received it. She took a non-lytic HIV, a virus not detectable by the immune system, and changed the trigger on it to be the protein alignment in cancerous cells. She took two cells, one cancerous and one non cancerous, and injected the virus into them. The cancerous cell burst within minutes, but the non cancerous one remained unaffected. Snuffy ran home in jubilancy and quickly typed a brief essay about her findings. The next day she presented her report to the National Board of Scientists, who remarked about her astonishing accomplishment of making two scientific breakthroughs in one day. With the Board’s approval, Snuffy developed the virus and devised an administering plan: the virus was to be given to pregnant mothers so that the baby could be infected. The baby, being but a cluster of cells, would have the infected cells multiply (and by extension multiplying the virus) and form the remainder of his/her body. In this way, all types of cancer could be accounted for. Snuffy submitted her proposal to the Food and Drug Administration and had it approved as being safe to use. The drug was then contracted by major drug distributors under the name “Snuf-files,” because the cause of the discovery was Snuffy’s files being corrupted. With this, the age of cancer was ended.
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