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Genetic Code of Cancer

Posted Sep 13 2013 10:09pm

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (United Kingdom) researchers analyzed the genetic codes of 7,042 cases of cancer in people from around the world, covering 30 different types of the disease, to ascertain signatures  of mutational processes.  The team discovered that all the cancers contained two or more signatures –  a finding that suggests the variety of processes that work together when a cancer develops.  The researchers also found that different cancers have different numbers of mutational processes, with some signatures are in multiple cancer types, while others are only found in one type. Out of the 30 cancers studied, 25 had signatures from mutational processes linked to ageing. The investigators also discovered that a family of enzymes called APOBECs, known to mutate DNA, was linked to more than half of the cancer types studied. The study authors comment that: “The results reveal the diversity of mutational processes underlying the development of cancer, with potential implications for understanding of cancer aetiology, prevention and therapy.”

Alexandrov LB, Nik-Zainal S, Wedge DC, Aparicio SA, Behjati S, Biankin AV, et al.  “Signatures of mutational processes in human cancer.”  Nature. 2013 Aug 14.

  
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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:

• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.

• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.

• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.

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