Scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have just mapped, for the first time, the genetic mutations leading to two common forms of cancer: lung cancer (which kills about a million people worldwide each year), and malignant melanoma (which comprises only 3% of skin cancer cases but causes 75% of the skin cancer fatalities). Knowing exactly which mutations lead to a type of cancer can help scientists trace the causes of those mutations, and then guilt trip me for still eating at Taco Bell. Maybe yo quiero cancer, okay you killjoys? Here’s what one of the killjoys had to say:
Peter Campbell, a cancer-genomics expert involved in the research, said the number of mutations discovered — 33,345 for melanoma — and 22,910 for lung cancer — was remarkable. “It is amazing what you can see in these genomes,” he said on the website of the journal Nature. The research shows most mutations could be traced to the effects of chemicals in tobacco smoke (in the lung tumour) [Ed.- the study suggests a smoker will get one genetic mutation for every 15 cigarettes smoked] or ultraviolet light (in the melanoma tumour), supporting the idea that they are largely preventable. [Yahoo]
Ultraviolet light causing genetic mutations? I knew that tanning bed was up to no good.