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All for One


For the most part, studies into the genetics underlying different kinds of cancer serve to parse the disease further into specific subtypes. But a new study published in Nature by The Cancer Genome Atlas consortium shows that when it comes to colon and rectal tumors, the similarities may be more important than the differences. Analysis of the genomic profiles of 224 colorectal tumors and matched normal tissue samples found that whether the tumors originate in the colon or the rectum, they are almost indistinguishable genetically, reports Agence France-Presse. Cancer Minute's sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News also reports that the researchers sequenced the exomes of all 224 tumor-normal pairs and also did low-coverage, whole-genome sequencing on 97 of the sample pairs. "The sweep threw up 24 genes where telltale mutations point to a role in either initiating or accelerated colorectal cancer," AFP adds. "They include the genes ERBB2 and IGF2, which are involved in cell proliferation."

In a statement, US National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said the study will help researchers and clinicians to understand the origins of colorectal tumors, and that the "data and knowledge gained here have the potential to change the way we diagnose and treat certain cancers."

GWDN has more on the study here.

The Scan

Comfort of Home

The Guardian reports that AstraZeneca is to run more clinical trials from people's homes with the aim of increasing participant diversity.

Keep Under Control

Genetic technologies are among the tools suggested to manage invasive species and feral animals in Australia, Newsweek says.

Just Make It

The New York Times writes that there is increased interest in applying gene synthesis to even more applications.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on OncoDB, mBodyMap, Genomicus

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database to analyze large cancer datasets, human body microbe database, and more.