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To Prevent Cancer Evolution

The UK's Institute of Cancer Research is establishing a new center to focus on developing drugs to prevent cancers from evolving treatment resistance, New Scientist reports. It adds that the ICR is to provide the new center, dubbed the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery, has £78 million ($99.8 million) in funding.

"This 'Darwinian' approach to drug discovery gives us the best chance yet of defeating cancer because we will be able to predict what cancer is going to do next and get one step ahead," says Olivia Rossanese, who will lead the biology section of the new institute, in a statement.

According to New Scientist, researchers there are to explore using multiple different drugs in combination — as is used in HIV therapy — as well as drugs targeting APOBEC proteins — which induce mutations in cancer cells — to head off the development of resistance. Additionally, it says that the center will also explore what's known as "evolutionary herding," which aims to push tumors toward a particular path, such as a state that's vulnerable to certain drugs.

The Scan

Foxtail Millet Pangenome, Graph-Based Reference Genome

Researchers in Nature Genetics described their generation of a foxtail millet pangenome, which they say can help in crop trait improvement.

Protein Length Distribution Consistent Across Species

An analysis in Genome Biology compares the lengths of proteins across more than 2,300 species, finding similar length distributions.

Novel Genetic Loci Linked to Insulin Resistance in New Study

A team reports in Nature Genetics that it used glucose challenge test data to home in on candidate genes involved in GLUT4 expression or trafficking.

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.