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Grabbing Cancer by the Short and Curlies; Oncology and Genetics
Article from Bulletin/Magazine
The Economist (http://search.proquest.com/) vol. 400 no. 8752 (Sep. 2011)
Perpustakaan Pusat (Semanggi)
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Lihat Detail Induk
One of the great hopes nurtured by the Human Genome Project was that it would crack cancer open. Knowing which genes were going wrong would, the theory went, allow specifically tailored drugs to be developed. And this is, indeed, happening. One of the problems with cancer is that the mutations which cause it are often hidden in a plethora of others that have no direct bearing on the disease. Normal DNA sequencing cannot distinguish which mutations are important and which are not. Rene Bernards of the Netherlands Cancer Institute however, thinks he can, by using molecules called short hairpin RNAs. Bernards's work, indeed, is just the vanguard. At least three other groups of researchers are using short hairpin RNA to study cancer in this way, and one of them, led by William Hahn of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, has already found what may be an important molecular link in the development of ovarian tumours. Turning these sorts of laboratory discoveries into treatments is a long and tedious process that often fails. What is crucial about Bernards's work, though, is that short hairpin RNAs do exactly what the genome project promised: they crack the problem open.
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