Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Telomeres and Cancer

European researchers report in JAMA this week the results of a clinical study, which implicate "a statistically significant inverse relationship between telomere length and both cancer incidence and mortality." In a patient cohort of 787, "short telomere length at baseline was associated with incident cancer independently of standard cancer risk factors," the authors write; 92 participants went on to develop cancer. Cancer incidence rates were 5.1 per 1,000 person-years in the longest telomere group and 22.5 per 1,000 person-years in the shortest telomere group. Short telomeres were also associated with cancer mortality, the authors write, particularly in individual cancer subtypes.

Stefan Kiechl, a study co-author, tells HealthDay News that "there are extensive research efforts at the moment to identify conditions — like lifestyle features — that promote or counteract telomere shortening, and this knowledge should be important for future primary prevention of cancer."

HT: Los Angeles Times' Booster Shots blog

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.