As in the previous prostate cancer study, which was also conducted by USC researchers and published in the April 2007 edition of Nature Genetics, the colorectal cancer risk factor is located in a region of the human genome devoid of known genes on chromosome 8. The study’s complete findings will be published in the July 8 online edition of Nature Genetics.
“This is an important finding because, for the first time, a common genetic risk factor for multiple cancers has been identified,” says lead author Christopher Haiman, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Adding, “There appears to be something fundamental occurring in this region that influences not only colorectal and prostate cancer, but perhaps cancers in general.” (Another recently published study, in which USC researchers also were involved, identified variants in this same chromosomal region as playing a predictive role relative to the risk of developing breast cancer.)
For the current colorectal cancer study, the USC team genotyped six of the seven variants previously identified as increasing the risk of prostate cancer development. The samples analyzed totaled 1,807 invasive colorectal cancer cases and 5,511 controls. These samples were drawn from five populations (African Americans, Japanese Americans, Native Hawaiians, Latinos, and European Americans) included in the Multiethnic Cohort Study, an epidemiological study of more than 215,000 people from Los Angeles and Hawaii created in 1993 by Brian Henderson, dean, Keck School of Medicine of USC, and Laurence Kolonel of the University of Hawaii.
According to Henderson, co-author of the colorectal cancer study, “Having previously identified several genetic risk factors related to prostate cancer, and now having identified one of these same variants as predictive of colorectal cancer risk, brings us closer to our long-term goal of developing a model that more precisely pinpoints who is at greater risk for developing colorectal, prostate, and other cancers.” However, Henderson notes, “We still need to identify the biological mechanism through which these variants are influencing the development of various cancers.”
Jennifer Chan | EurekAlert!
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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