Cancer’s Genetic Signature

Eric Green:  So cancer is fundamentally a disease of the genome.  I mean the reason a tumor grows is because the cells in that tumor have picked up glitches.  They picked up mutations.  They picked up changes in the DNA that make those cells grow out of control.  It’s like pressing an accelerator in a car and just keep it going.  It just grows and grows and grows and grows.  And the reason why is because something’s broken in the genome.  And so what’s happened in the past ten years in particular since the end of the Human Genome Project is the recognition that we can read out the genome, the sequence of the tumor’s DNA and gain insights from that tumor with respect to what had been the DNA changes that have led to those cells becoming a cancer.

And that is being done on a very large scale in many countries around the world and here including the United States where literally very defined cancers are being studied.  Hundreds of specimens are being collected from people and those genomes of those tumors are being read out and have all that data be put on the Internet for scientists to be able to collect it all and analyze it.  And we are learning a tremendous amount about cancer in many very interesting and surprising ways.  And among the many things that are happening is it’s giving us insights about how to better classify different types of cancer and different subtypes of cancer.  And I often make the point that some of the earliest implementation of genomics in the medical situation is gonna be with cancer.

And it’s already happening now and I think it’s gonna grow considerably.  Where I think standard of care for many types of cancer are gonna be get that tumor, read out it’s DNA, sequence it’s genome and based on what you’ve seen what’s wrong with that tumor, not by looking at it under a microscope only or by looking at it in a sort of a gross fashion but actually looking inside it’s blueprint, you will be able to have a much better way of deciding what types of treatments to pursue and have a much better idea about what’s wrong in that kind of tumor.  And some of those things will also be very helpful for leading to possibly new developments of therapies.

Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Dillon Fitton

Cancer is fundamentally a disease of the genome. What has happened in the past ten years since the end of the Human Genome Project is the recognition that we can read out the genome, and read the sequence of a tumor’s DNA and gain insights from that tumor.

A psychotherapist explains why some adults are reacting badly to young climate strikers

When adults are challenged to behave like adults, by a child, they can go in one of two directions.

Barbara Alper/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs

Young climate strikers I spoke to recently are confused and distressed about the things adults are doing.

Keep reading Show less

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
  • The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
  • According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Keep reading Show less

Why should you always assume you're wrong? Science.

When it comes to scientific theory, (or your personal life) be sure to question everything.

Videos
  • The theories we build to navigate the world, both scientifically and in our personal lives, all contain assumptions. They're a critical part of scientific theory.
  • Cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman urges us to always question those assumptions. In this way, by challenging ourselves, we come to a deeper understanding of the task at hand.
  • Historically, humans have come to some of our greatest discoveries by simply questioning assumed information.
Keep reading Show less