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“OVERWEIGHT women are more likely to develop breast cancer than lean ones. Why has been a mystery. But it is now less mysterious thanks to the work of Kevin Gardner, a researcher at America’s National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr Gardner and his colleagues have found that processing calories affects the activity of BRCA1, a gene that encodes a well-known tumour-suppression protein. Mutations of this gene are strong predictors of breast and ovarian cancer—so strong that the gene’s DNA sequence is the subject of litigation in America about whether natural gene sequences can be patented, and thus the market in tests for these mutations cornered.”
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Read the original article over at the Economist.