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Testing chemicals that may contribute to breast cancer

Narrator:          This is Science Today. In anticipation of federal and state policies to increase the amount of testing of chemicals in the environment, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have been making sure that they're testing chemicals that may contribute to breast cancer. Research scientist Megan Schwarzman is involved in a project that accounts for events in biological pathways that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Schwarzman:   Breast tissue is sensitive in different ways at different windows of development. So, during puberty the effects may be different than exposure during pregnancy. So, I think that we've learned that there are some good tests that should be used now that aren't. There are tests for endocrine activity, tests for genotoxicity; we should be looking at how chemicals affect the development of the breast and how they work at different life stages.

Narrator:          Schwarzman's research is part of the California Breast Cancer Research Project, which is administered by the University of California and is the largest state-funded research effort in the nation. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.