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Science this week presents a special issue to mark the 40th anniversary of the signing of the US National Cancer Act in 1971 by then-President Richard Nixon. In their introduction to the special issue, Paula Kibertsis and Eliot Marshall note that papers published in Science at the time were asking questions like, "How do abnormalities in chromosome number arise in tumor cells? Can tissue-specific markers be used to determine the epithelial versus mesenchymal origin of a solid tumor?

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