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Recent studies have suggested that breast cancer can be classified as up to 10 different diseases. A new study published online in Nature sought to determine the various genetic drivers of these diseases, says the Broad Institute. Researchers there and at the National Institute of Genomic Medicine in Mexico City, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute sequenced the whole exomes of breast tumors and normal DNA from 103 patients as well as the entire genomes of 22 patients' normal and cancer tissues. From studing the frequency of the various mutations present in tumor samples, the researchers found novel gene alterations that had never been associated with breast cancer before, the Broad says.

One of the new alterations discovered — a recurrent fusion of the genes MAGI3 and AKT3 — was found in aggressive triple-negative breast tumors. These tumors are normally untreatable with conventional therapy, but new drugs are being developed to target the MAGI3-AKT3 reshuffling, the Broad adds. The researchers also found recurrent mutations in the CBFB gene and deletions in RUNX1 — alterations that are normally found in blood cancers, the Broad says, but have never been detected in a solid tumor before.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.