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Searching for Answers


At both the AACR annual meeting in April and the ASCO annual meeting in June, NCI's Harold Varmus spoke about getting scientists to answer the "provocative questions" of cancer research — questions that are complicated and difficult to answer, but which may yield new methods for treatment or prevention of the disease. Recently, NCI unveiled a $17.5 million budget to study these hard questions, reports ScienceInsider's Jocelyn Kaiser. The project's Web site lists 24 such questions, culled from a series of workshops held by Varmus, she adds, and they range from asking why more people don't alter behaviors they know might lead to cancer to why certain mutations promote cancer phenotypes in some tissues but not in others.

The Scan

Y Chromosome Study Reveals Details on Timing of Human Settlement in Americas

A Y chromosome-based analysis suggests South America may have first been settled more than 18,000 years ago, according to a new PLOS One study.

New Insights Into TP53-Driven Cancer

Researchers examine in Nature how TP53 mutations arise and spark tumor development.

Mapping Single-Cell Genomic, Transcriptomic Landscapes of Colorectal Cancer

In Genome Medicine, researchers present a map of single-cell genomic and transcriptomic landscapes of primary and metastatic colorectal cancer.

Expanded Genetic Testing Uncovers Hereditary Cancer Risk in Significant Subset of Cancer Patients

In Genome Medicine, researchers found pathogenic or likely pathogenic hereditary cancer risk variants in close to 17 percent of the 17,523 patients profiled with expanded germline genetic testing.