Silencing the saboteur

Published: Thursday 31 August 1995

American researchers say that a gene believed to be overactive in most types of cancer can be silenced in the mouse by using a stretch of designer DNA. Once the gene has been sabotaged, say researchers led by Yoon Cho-Chung of the US National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, the cancer cells stop dividing rapidly (New Scientist, Vol 146, No 1981).

The team, which made strands of DNA with base sequence needed to sabotage a gene that encodes for a protein called protein kinase type 1, hope their findings will lead to effective treatment for human cancer.

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