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This Week in Science: Jan 18, 2014

In Science this week, a team of researchers at Rockefeller University publish data from an experiment in which RNA interference was used to screen mouse cancer models for genes involved in squamous cell carcinoma. After silencing the genes in vivo, the researchers looked to see which ones promoted the animal's tumors to progress. In addition to several genes already implicated in cancer progression, the scientists identify a number of ones not previously associated with tumor development. The findings highlight the potential of RNAi, cancer genomics, and mouse modeling for discovering new tumor suppressor genes, the researchers say.

In Science Translational Medicine, investigators from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital describe a barcoding technique that uses antibodies to detect proteins at the single-cell level and its use in identifying specific cancer types. The method involves linking a small fragment of fluorescently tagged DNA to an antibody that binds to a specific protein. The result is a sort of barcode that reveals target proteins. The researchers demonstrate the approach by identifying protein targets in breast cancer cells, as well as proteins in lung and skin cancer tissue samples.