Supercomputer Links Cancer to DNA Crosses

#Science

Mon, Jun 22nd, 2015 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to a study by the University of Texas at Austin, supercomputers linked non-inherited human cancer with "cross-shaped (or cruciform) pieces of DNA." Researchers believe that these particular strands of DNA "mark the spots for chromosome breaks, mutations, and potentially initiate cancer development."

DNA double-strand breaks can increase the risk of cancer because they can result in translocations, deletions, and other mutagenic events that disrupt the coding properties of genes. ‘These modifications of the DNA can lead to cancer,’ Vasquez said. According to Paul Okano, program director at the Division of Cancer Biology of the National Cancer Institute, ‘The focus of Dr. Vasquez’ research on the mechanisms of alternate DNA structure-induced mutations, DNA breaks, and chromosome translocations is a novel and significant aspect of NCI grant supported studies on mechanisms of genomic instability. Dr. Vasquez’ studies on the role of non-B DNA sequences in these mechanisms can contribute to our knowledge of the etiology of human cancer.’

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