Synthetic biology promises to revolutionize cancer care by offering permanent cures to patients with historically untreatable malignancies. Yet policy and regulation must keep pace with rapidly advancing research to allow new treatments to be made available worldwide, said Carl June during the plenary address at Science Diplomacy 2017, the third annual conference by AAAS’ Center for Science Diplomacy. The conference was held on March 29 at AAAS headquarters in Washington.
Nearly two-thirds of mutations in human cancers are attributable to random errors that occur naturally in healthy, dividing cells during DNA replication, researchers report in the 24 March issue of Science. Though mutations that cause human cancer have traditionally been thought to originate from heredity or environmental sources, these results — grounded in a novel mathematical model based on data from around the world — support a role for so-called "R" or random mutations in driving the disease.
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