Thu, Mar 2, 2017 | updated 12:00 AM IST

Complex genetic secrets of cancer risk uncovered

Updated: Aug 05, 2016 08:28 IST

Washington D.C, Aug 5 (ANI): A team of researchers has shed light on how our genetic makeup affects our risk of cancer.

In a landmark study of over 1000 sarcoma patients, the researchers from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research uncovered numerous new genetic risk factors for the cancer and in a world first for any cancer type, they showed that carrying two or more of these rare mutations increases an individual's cancer risk.

Sarcomas are cancers of connective tissues that disproportionately affect the young. They are one of the three leading causes of disease-related death among children and young adults in Australia and sarcoma survivors are at higher risk of developing a second cancer.

The new findings relating to cancer risk were uncovered through the International Sarcoma Kindred Study (ISKS), an Australian-led international consortium that is exploring the genetic basis of sarcoma in over 1000 individuals the largest study ever conducted in this disease.

The ISKS team used a 'gene panel' of 72 genes to detect mutations in each study participant. They identified mutations in a number of new genes that significantly increase the risk of developing sarcoma, including in the genes ERCC2, ATR, BRCA2 and ATM.

Importantly, in individuals carrying mutations in two genes, the risk of developing sarcoma was measurably higher than in those with a mutation in only one gene.And in carriers of three or more mutations, the risk was greater still.

"This is the first time - in any cancer - that anyone has quantified the effect of multiple rare genetic mutations on cancer risk," said lead author David Thomas. "Until now, we've been limited to single-gene thinking, so we tell patients, for instance, that carrying a BRCA1 mutation means their breast cancer risk is higher or that their risk of sarcoma and other cancers is higher if they've got a particular mutation in the p53 gene."

Thomas added, "The study shows us that the landscape of cancer risk is far more complex than that. We can now see that the risk for developing sarcoma is increased through the combined effect of multiple genes, and that the more mutations someone carries, the earlier the onset of cancer."

"These previously invisible effects are at least as large as the impact of mutations in the p53 gene itself, which is currently the strongest known genetic cause of sarcoma," he continued.

Mandy Ballinger, who co-ordinates the ISKS globally, said the study will radically change how sarcoma risk is understood.

"We've never been able to identify these at-risk individuals, and their families, before. Now we can," noted Thomas. "That means we can manage risk better, and help those people to get the care they need, when they need it."

As per Thomas, the findings are an important step towards personalised medicine for cancer.

The research is published in the journal The Lancet Oncology. (ANI)

New clues found for nuclear waste cleanup

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 09:35 IST

Washington D.C. (USA), Feb. 24 (ANI): According to a study, the research being done on the chemistry of technetium-99 has boosted the understanding of the challenging nuclear waste and can lead to better cleanup methods.

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Washington D.C. [US], Feb. 24 (ANI): US researchers have suggested that specially trained dogs can be used to find wide-ranging species that are often threatened, sepecially cheetah in a region of Western Zambia.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 23(ANI): NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

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Noida (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Feb.22 (ANI): Germany's Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Foundation has handed over equipment worth € 20, 000 to Amity University for accelerating research initiatives.

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Washington D.C. (USA), Feb 21 (ANI): The world's first battery to use only hydronium ions as the charge carrier has been been developed by scientists.

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Washington D.C. (USA), Feb. 21 (ANI): According to a new study, Carnegie's Stephen Elardo and Anat Shahar shows that interactions between iron and nickel under the extreme pressures and temperatures similar to a planetary interior can help scientists understand the period in our Solar System's youth when planets were forming and their cores were created.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): To boost breeding of endangered poultry breeds, Briton researchers have come up with gene-editing techniques for the rare breeds to use them as surrogates that cannot produce their own chicks.

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Meet 'Bernardbowen'- the new minor planet

Updated: Feb 18, 2017 07:00 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): In a major development, a team of scientists have officially named a minor planet as 'Bernardbowen' that sits in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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New York [USA], Feb. 17 (ANI): NASA has called on the world to help it in the search for the new ninth planet, as anyone from a kindergartener to a 95-year-old, can participate in their new project to find the not-yet-discovered celestial body.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 9 (ANI): To cut down the number of traffic fatalities, drive less!

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 8 (ANI): According to an international team of astronomers led by researchers from University Of Cambridge, the Magellanic Clouds, the two largest satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, appear to be connected by a bridge stretching across 43,000 light years.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 25 (ANI): A team of researchers have discovered prehistoric wolf-sized otter fossils with a large head and a powerful jaw, weighing around 100 pounds, in China's Yunnan province.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 25 (ANI): A study finds that early identification of hearing loss in newborn due to a disease or physical abnormality by birth may help them in better language outcomes as they grow.

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Chennai [India], Jan.14 (ANI-Businesswire India): While "Jallikattu" seems to be the trending topic of discussion in Tamil Nadu at the moment, a silent revolution envisioned by youth icon and late Former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has quietly gained momentum. Ignite-India is a nation-wide innovation platform for student innovators and young entrepreneurs in high schools and colleges. Founded by International swimmer Agnishwar Jayaprakash in 2014, the organization has designed & hosted 96 Regional Innovation Conferences and 3 National Innovation Conferences across 36 cities in India where students competed to showcased their innovative creations. These innovations were judged based on the practicality, creativity & sustainability by technical experts from diverse fields.

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New Delhi [India], Jan. 13 (ANI): New computer simulations have shown that tiny droplets of sulphuric acid resulted in long-lasting cooling, which was a likely contributor to the death of land-living dinosaurs.

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New human organ in digestive system discovered

Updated: Jan 05, 2017 06:27 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan. 5 (ANI): Scientists have discovered what they are calling a new human organ that exists in the digestive system.

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Washington D.C. [USA], January 4 (ANI): Songbirds divorce, pack up and leave and miss their best chances for successful reproduction, courtesy suburban development.

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How do conch shells have such huge variety?

Updated: Jan 04, 2017 05:52 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], January 4 (ANI): Conch shells and its varied shapes and size have always been something that has captivated the eyes of collectors.

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