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Process of elimination


By turning-off 80 genes, one after the other, a Dutch research group has located the gene that is a precursor to a rare skin cancer. In addition, the research revealed that a medicine to treat this special disease already exists: Acetylsalisylsyre. A cream was developed, and it works.

This was explained to a full auditorium by professor René Bernards of the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam during the functional genomics conference, attended by more than 500 researchers, now taking place in Oslo, Norway. Now professor René Bernards wants to perform research modelling by turning-off all of the 25,000 genes in the human body to find out how they work.

"This is exciting", says professor Kjetil Taskén, who leads the arrangement committee for the conference. -Bernards’ research group has found a method to identify target genes – genes that cause disease. They found the cause of a rare form of cancer that already has an identified treatment. In most cases you must, once you have located the target gene, find a treatment that works, and that takes time. But this is an example of which results we can get and which great and important task it is to find out how genes work,” says professor Kjetil Taskén.

"Functional genomics and disease"
Biotechnology Centre in Oslo, University of Oslo (BiO) and European Science Foundation (ESF) Genetics Conference, 6-10 September, Oslo, Norway

Prof. Kjetil Taskén | alfa
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