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Starve the Beast


A new study published in Science by researchers from the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital presents a comprehensive view of the metabolism of cancer cells, according to a Broad press release. For decades, researchers have known that cancer cells consume glucose in a different way than normal cells do, and in its new study, the team studied 60 cancer cell lines to see what else cancer cells are consuming and what they're leaving behind by "analyzing which of more than 200 metabolites were consumed or released by the fastest dividing cells," the Broad says. "Their research yields the first large-scale atlas of cancer metabolism and points to a key role for the smallest amino acid, glycine, in cancer cell proliferation."

The researchers developed a new technique called Consumption and Release — or CORE — to measure the levels of metabolites both taken in and discarded by cells. "Using CORE, we can quantitatively determine exactly how much of every metabolite is being consumed or released on a per-cell, per-hour basis," co-first author Mohit Jain says. The technique helped them determine that glycine played a large role in the proliferation of rapidly dividing cancer cells.

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.