Medicine: Cancer Genes

They can turn cells malignant

A crucial yet mysterious step in the development of cancer appears to be alterations, possibly by chemicals, to the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) carried in the thousands of genes in the body's cells. Scientists have theorized that though many genes may be affected, relatively few, dubbed "cancer genes," have the power to transform a cell from a healthy to a cancerous state. Evidence to support this theory came to light last week with word that researchers, using new genetic-engineering techniques, have isolated several genes from human tumor cells and...

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