Scientists from The Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton and the University of California discovered that the underlying process in tumor formation is the same as for life itself—evolution.
After analyzing a half million gene mutations, the researchers found that although different gene mutations control different cancer pathways, each pathway was controlled by only one set of gene mutations. This suggests that a molecular "survival of the fittest" scenario plays out in every living creature as gene mutations strive for ultimate survival through cancerous tumors.
This finding, which appears in the August 2008 issue of The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org), improves our understanding of how evolution shapes life in all forms, while laying a foundation for new cancer drugs and treatments.
"This study lays the groundwork for understanding the nature of different mutations in cancers," said Chen-Hsiang Yeung, first author of the study, "and helps with understanding the mechanisms of cancers and their responses to drug treatments."
To arrive at these conclusions, researchers analyzed about 500,000 cancer mutation records from the Catalog of Somatic Mutations in Cancer database and then divided the data into 45 tissue types. Within each tissue type, they calculated the frequency that multiple genes were mutated in the same sample. They identified the frequencies of mutations that were significantly higher or lower than if the genes had mutated independently. Then they mapped out how these genes ultimately lead to cancerous tumors and checked whether the genes occurring in specific tissues used the same or different cancer pathways.
"Little could Darwin have known that his 'Origin of the Species' would one day explain the 'Origin of the Tumor,'" said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "This research report completely changes our understanding of the many gene mutations that cause cancer."
Cody Mooneyhan | EurekAlert!
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07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences
Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
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07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
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07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine