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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Monday, September 24, 2007

Today's Health|Science: DNA unraveled, trolling the genome for cancer clues

DNA%20double%20helix150.bmpThe science of life is undergoing changes so jolting that even its top researchers are feeling something akin to shell-shock. Just four years after scientists finished mapping the human genome - the full sequence of 3 billion DNA "letters" folded within every cell - they find themselves confronted by a biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.

Scientific celebrities like James Watson and Craig Venter are making their genetic information public knowledge. Will you be able to keep yours private?

Even when we each start carrying around our personal genome disks in our pockets, our data will differ from our children's in thousands of ways.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School, led by genetics professor George Church, are mapping the complete genomes of 10 people.

garraway100.bmpWhen Levi Garraway (left) heard that his father was dying of prostate cancer, he decided to do something about it. At the time Garraway was writing his PhD dissertation on infectious diseases. Today, he's an associate member of the Broad Institute, a research collaborative dedicated to applying genomics to diseases such as cancer.

Also, does a chemical formed in cooking french fries really cause cancer and if two pennies are not identical, then what about two atoms of hydrogen?

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 07:01 AM
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