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Abstract
The hierarchical model of stem cell genesis is based on the idea that the number of cell divisions between the zygote and fully differentiated epithelial cells is kept close to the minimum, which is log to the base 2 of the total number of cells produced in a human lifetime. The model assumes the orderly progression of stem cell divisions requires precise control at every stage in development. If the orderly progression is maintained then cancer will be rare. A prediction of the model is that if the orderly progression of the stem cell hierarchy is disturbed by trauma, ulceration or inflammation then cancer will occur.
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