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Lab Reports
July 7, 2015

Striking Similarities Between Cancerous and Normal Skin Cells

JAMA. 2015;314(1):16. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.7178

More than a quarter of the cells in aged, sun-exposed skin may carry cancer-causing mutations while maintaining their normal physiological function (Martincorena I et al. Science. 2015;348[6237]:880-886).

When a team led by investigators at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, in the United Kingdom, sequenced the genomes of cells taken from 234 small biopsies removed from the eyelids of 4 adults aged 55 to 73 years, they observed 2 to 6 mutations per megabase per cell, which is similar to that seen in many cancers.

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