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Swedes lead cancer breakthrough

Published måndag 16 juli 2007 kl 14.34
DNA discoveries offer hope for cancer treatment

Swedish researchers have discovered a new mechanism which can restore damaged DNA. The finding is believed to have major implications on the treatment of cancer.

By understanding the works of a healthy cell, researchers at the world-famous Karolinska Institute in Sweden, have been able to understand what goes wrong in a cancer.

The new research results focus on DNA which is replicated every time a cell divides. Up until the splitting process itself, the two bits of DNA are bound together by cohesin, a glue-like protein. If the cohesin does not work properly then the two new cells can inherit the wrong number of chromosomes, which is often the case in tumour cells.

But the research has also shown that cohesin can be used to fix damaged strings of DNA. Understanding the properties of cohesin could be a step in developing anti-cancer drugs but it is also important for the research for chromosome defects that cause the condition Down’s Syndrome.

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