18 February 2007

Cancer Mutations, Proteome Maps of the Brain, Gene Therapy with RNAi

Cancer cells are 100 times more likely to mutate than normal cells. That may allow better diagnosis of cancers by tracking the mutations, but it can also make the tumour cells "moving targets" for treatments that depend on specific gene targets.

Of course, some clever researchers are thinking of ways to take advantage of cancer cell mutations for targeting their treatment.

This 82 year old pioneer of DNA research and cancer presented a talk on the biology of cancer, and cancer's genetic similarities to a colonizing species--at the AAAS conference in San Francisco.

One way of affecting gene expression of normal cells, tumour cells, and invading viruses, is by using RNAi. That was the topic of another AAAS paper delivered in San Francisco.

A team of researchers from PNNL and UCLA has produced a map of the brain's proteins to go with the genomic map of the brain (Allen Brain Atlas). By correlating the protein production of specific genes in specific parts of the brain, scientists can learn much more about the molecular activity of the brain.

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