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Subspecialties Oncology, Genetics and epigenetics, Biochemistry and molecular biology, Cytology, Omics

In Pursuit of Immortality

How do human cells become immortal? Despite the important implications for cancer development, the process is not well understood. Now, a research team based in the Berkeley Lab, US, have developed a new method to create and study immortal human mammary epithelial cells (IHMECs). It is already possible to do this but the oncogenic agents used to create the cells result in multiple genomic errors, meaning the cells are not accurate models of cancer etiology. The new method generates cells with normal, stable genomes, providing a more accurate model for studying the process in the same way it actually occurs in human cancers; while human cancer tissue may contain many genomic alterations, only a small number of these are thought to play a role in disease development.

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About the Author

Roisin McGuigan

I have an extensive academic background in the life sciences, having studied forensic biology and human medical genetics in my time at Strathclyde and Glasgow Universities. My research, data presentation and bioinformatics skills plus my ‘wet lab’ experience have been a superb grounding for my role as an Associate Editor at Texere Publishing. The job allows me to utilize my hard-learned academic skills and experience in my current position within an exciting and contemporary publishing company.

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