Cause of cancer is written into DNA of tumours, scientists find, creating a ‘black box’ for origin of disease – Telegraph.co.uk

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Cause of cancer is written into DNA of tumours, scientists find, creating a ‘black box’ for origin of disease – Telegraph.co.uk

“They allow us to treat tumours as a crime scene and, like forensic scientists, allow us to identify the culprit – and their accomplices – responsible for the tumour.”

Around 360,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Britain each year, and 163,000 people will die from their disease. It is thought that around 38 per cent of cases of preventable, but the new study help give a better estimation of exactly how deadly environmental factors can be.

The human genetic code is written in molecules known as nucleotides, represented by the letters A, C, G and T. The new technique works by studying ‘spelling mistakes’ or mutations in DNA which occur because factors such as ultraviolet light, alcohol of tobacco smoke, such an A becomes a G.

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