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Created by: Nick Latina

Issue 266: Evolution underpins the survival of a population under environmental pressure. Resistance to treatment commonly arises as a result of such evolution. In our new pre-print, we analytically examine the addition of frequency-dependent effects on evolutionary outcomes. Through the lens of experimental biology, we frame these interactions as cell-extrinsic, growth rate-modifying, ecological interactions. We characterize how such interactions can modify evolutionary trajectories and show that they can maintain, mimic, or even completely mask, the results of cell-intrinsic fitness advantages. This work has implications for the interpretation and understanding of evolution, in particular the abundance of apparently neutral evolution in cancer. The imagery synthesized with Midjourney and reflects how the interactions of two cell types can create a new emergent identity that ecologically 'masks' the individuals.