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Beware the Night Shift


Carla Finkielstein, a molecular biologist at Virginia Tech, says that working the night shift may increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, according to Science Nation's Miles O'Brien. "Women that work the night shift have higher incidence of breast cancer," Finkielstein says. The theory is that altering a woman's body clock could also alter her body chemistry and prod healthy cells into becoming cancerous. Some studies have shown that women working the night shift have more of a certain protein that controls how cells divide and grow, O'Brien says. Using frog embryos, Finkielstein injects those proteins into frog cells to see their effect. "We believe they'll end up in an abnormal proliferation of cancer cells," she says. Finkielstein also uses human cancer cells to study whether radiation treatment is more effective at certain times of the day. "People who actually have the disease can receive the treatments at the time of day when the medicine is more effective," she adds.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.