Medicine: New Clues to Detecting a Killer

Researchers zero in on the genetic causes of colon cancer

When Ronald Reagan's doctors announced two years ago that the President suffered from colon cancer, the world also learned that his brother Neil had received the same diagnosis. That apparently incidental detail did not surprise cancer researchers. They have long known that family members can share a genetic predisposition to the disease, but the exact mechanism was a mystery. Last week scientists in Britain and Israel reported in the journal Nature that they had discovered that there is a faulty gene that triggers a rare form of colon cancer and found its general location. The discovery, said Sir Walter Bodmer, director...

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