Tag Archives: basic science

Colorectal Cancer Molecules and Genes Reveal Surprises

A Labor Day salute to the hard-working scientists—doctors, PhDs, lab techs, technology inventors—who have done some  heavy lifting to peer into the tiniest recesses of cells, genes, and molecules to unravel what makes colorectal cancer happen. In the widest and deepest effort to date, the Cancer Genome Atlas Project has produced some surprises and key clues about colorectal cancer, published recently in the journal Nature. It was almost “ industrial-strength genetics to try to unpick and take apart the genetic coding,” according to Dr. David Kerr, professor at the University of Oxford and Past President of the European Society for Medical Oncology.  One of the surprises for colorectal cancer—the third

Gene Variation Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk

People with a variation in the gene that controls how fat is metabolized by cells have a lowered chance of getting colorectal cancer, even in families with already increased risk. Scientists studied differences in short regions of the ADIPOQ gene called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among patients with colorectal cancer and a similar group of people who didn’t have cancer. In two different study groups, they found that one variation reduced risk of getting cancer by about 30 percent.

MIT Team Uses New Imaging System to see Mutated Cells

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new system that lets them see and count cells with a particular mutation. Working with specially bred mice, the biological engineering team found clusters of cells in pancreas tissue that all contained the same mutation.  Because more than 90 percent of the cells were clustered, the scientists concluded that they all came from  one mutation, rather than from many individual changes.