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The Good Kind of Cancer Gene?


A new study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics suggests some cancer genes may actually be good for the people who carry them, reports New Scientist. The team studied the genomes of more than 12,000 African Americans, Nigerians, and Gambians — and though the genomes were similar, sections of DNA within four genes were quite variable between the populations, New Scientist says. This implies that the four genes evolved differently in response to evolutionary pressures. "In three of the genes, that evolution is known to have improved local resistance to malaria. The fourth gene, unexpectedly, turned out to be PSCA — a gene whose activity is strongly associated with bladder and prostate cancer," New Scientist says. The researchers are assuming that this fourth mutation also confers some benefit, though they aren't sure what that is.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.