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Dollar billionaire, cancer-drug inventor, surgeon and modern-day renaissance man Patrick Soon-Shiong likes to draw detailed but somewhat unintelligible pictures of the immune system. They’re somewhere between a mind map and a doodle, and he gives them catchy names, such as "dance of the proteins".

Speaking at the virtual Wits Botlhale Orenstein memorial lecture last week, the SA-born polymath said he didn’t expect anyone to actually read the "crazy map". But he did want them to understand his theory that, by learning how the immune system works — down to the smallest molecule — you could harness its power by, for example, manufacturing immune cells to kill cancer...

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