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This Week in BMC Cancer: Jun 1, 2011


National Cancer Institute researchers and their colleagues report online in BMC Cancer that they used a comprehensive gene candidate approach to find genetic variants associated with osteosarcoma. The researchers hypothesized that DNA repair and ribosomal function-related genes could be involved in osteosarcoma pathogenesis, and, as such, they set about to determin whether variants in genes in bone formation, DNA repair, growth/hormone, and ribosomal pathways had a role in the disease. The researchers found 12 SNPs in growth or DNA repair genes that were significantly associated with osteosarcoma while four SNPs in a DNA repair gene and two SNPs downstream of a growth hormone gene were significantly associated. "Our results suggest that several SNPs in biologically plausible pathways are associated with OS. Larger studies are required to confirm our findings," the researchers conclude.

Peter Hersey and his colleagues at the University of Newcastle in Australia say that an aberrant function of P53 may contribute to melanoma. Hersey and his team used whole genome bead arrays to determine the expression levels of P53 target genes in 82 melanoma metastases, six melanoma cell lines, and extracts from diploid human melanocytes and fibroblasts. The authors write that their results show that "P53 target transcripts involved in apoptosis were under-expressed in melanoma metastases and melanoma cell lines, while those involved in the cell cycle were over-expressed in melanoma cell lines."

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.