Thursday, 20 November 2008

First complete cancer genome sequenced

Scientists have deciphered each of the 3 billion DNA bases from the genome of an acute myeloid leukemia tumor.

For the first time, a complete cancer (female) genome has been decoded. In a study made possible by faster, cheaper and more sensitive methods for sequencing DNA, the researchers pinpoint eight new genes that may cause a cell to turn cancerous. This new sequencing technology, called massively parallel sequencing, makes it possible to compare the normal DNA sequence to the cancerous DNA sequence in the same patient. That, in turn, allows researchers to find individual DNA bases — the needles in a haystack of 3 billion pieces of straw — that had mutated in the cancerous cells.

Laura Saunder's article with links to other citations is at: