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Genome analysis technology boosts study of cancer


Narrator:       This is Science Today. Using the latest genome analysis technology, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, are making new headway in the study and treatment of cancer.

Cho:               We've just entered a period in the last two or three years where the cost of sequencing the DNA in cancers has dropped by orders of magnitude. So, for the first time on a regular basis, scientists are able to look at the 3 billion nucleotides, the 3 billion bases in the genomes of the cancer cell and understand what the differences are.

Narrator:       Researcher Raymond Cho explains that, by sequencing the DNA of cancer cells, scientists can determine the order in which genetic mutations emerge as they evolve into malignant tumors. This new information can help doctors predict which mutations will lead to precancerous lesions and which will lead to invasive cancer.  

Cho:               Even five or 10 years ago this idea seemed outlandish and was really questioned in terms of the cost and investment. Today when you actually start seeing some of the returns it's clear that this is going to be a cornerstone in changing the way cancer is treated in the future.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.