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Lean, Mean, Cancer-Fighting Machine

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The link between cancer risk and obesity is a question many researchers are starting to study — at the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago a few weeks ago, there was a session dedicated to the growing evidence of a link between weight and cancer risk. Now, a new study published by researchers in the US and the UK in the Annals of Oncology suggests that men with lean bodies at age 18 have a 35 percent less chance of dying from cancer as they get older than men who are obese at 18, reports Bloomberg's Nicole Ostrow. The study showed that obesity at 18 is a better indicator of cancer risk for lung, skin, esophageal, and kidney cancer than obesity at middle age, Ostrow says. The study wasn't designed to show how obesity triggers cancer, only that it does, she adds, but the authors speculate that hormones created in overweight or obese bodies play a role.

The Scan

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.

Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers at PLOS Biology have examined the coevolution of endogenous parvoviral elements and animal genomes to gain insight into using the viruses as gene therapy vectors.

Saliva Testing Can Reveal Mosaic CNVs Important in Intellectual Disability

An Australian team has compared the yield of chromosomal microarray testing of both blood and saliva samples for syndromic intellectual disability in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.