Why Aging Cells Become Cancerous

(From Xinhua Online). A team of South Korean researchers have found a mechanism to explain why aging cells - with a reduced ability to proliferate - are more prone to becoming cancerous. This hinges on the same gene recently linked to grey hair and melanomas: "Bcl-2 barred the DNA repair mechanism, depriving the human body of a significant tool in countering mutations, dramatically heightening the likelihood of tumors appearing. ... Up until now, scientists have suspected cells accumulate mutations when they are young and become tumors when they are old. But we have learned aged cells suffer abrupt mutations due to a lack of DNA repair." How does this tie in with the link between short telomeres and cancer? More research is definitely called for.

Link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-12/27/content_2385100.htm


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