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News digest – landmark genetic study, teenage cancer, tobacco smuggling myths and more

Posted Mar 30 2013 12:00am

As the cold bank holiday weekend kicks off, a week of hot cancer research news comes to a close. Here are our highlights:

  • Our scientists were part of an international collaboration of researchers (COGS) who revealed unprecedented new detail about the genetics of prostate, breast and ovarian cancer. The work takes us a step closer to a cheap test that could give people a personalised risk profile for the diseases. The story was all over the media, and our picks of the bunch are this BBC article and these two Guardian articles. We also featured an interview with one of the lead researchers on this blog.
  • Scientists and fans of sci-fi may get a giggle from this little spoof video about how the COGS team embarked on their search to discover the “dark matter of heritability”. 
  • US scientists revealed new genetic clues to the origins of a type of oesophageal cancer called adenocarcinoma. The research suggests that some genetic damage may be caused by stomach acid damaging the oesophagus. Our news story has more detail.
  • Teenage and young adult cancer deaths have almost halved in last 30 years, according to figures we released this week. Here’s the press release , and the BBC had a good article about the report.
  • MPs dismissed claims from the tobacco industry that the introduction of standardised tobacco packs could lead to an increase in tobacco smuggling. Here’s our coverage , and the Guardian highlighted that tobacco smugglers are losing their share of the UK market thanks to joint efforts by HMRC and UK Border Agency.

And finally

  • We were thrilled to hear this week that Scotland plans to be “tobacco free” by 2034. By aiming to have fewer than five per cent of the population smoke by 2034, Scotland is putting itself at the forefront of global efforts to reduce the damage caused by tobacco. The BBC has more detail, and you can read our full response here .
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