Life sciences/Genetics/Molecular genetics/Epigenetics/Heredity
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.
New results suggest that prion protein mutations differ in how likely they are to cause rare and fatal disorders.
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