NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – In cancer cells, all sorts of functions go awry. In addition to genetic changes, many times there are also epigenetic changes.

DNA methylation typically regulates gene expression, but in cancer that, and other epigenetic controllers, don't act quite as they are supposed to. In many cancers, there is global hypomethylation of DNA, though there is also, paradoxically, hypermethylation at some CpG island promoters, especially in the promoters of tumor suppressor genes.

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

Biologists turn to environmental DNA sampling to determine whether elusive or invasive species are shedding DNA in a given area.

Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

Harold Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, has announced that he is stepping down after nearly five years.