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New technology provides first view of DNA damage within entire human genome
Date:1/18/2011

New technology providing the first view of DNA damage throughout the entire human genome developed by Cardiff University scientists could offer a valuable new insight into the development and treatment of conditions like cancer.

Professor Ray Waters, Dr Simon Reed and Dr Yumin Teng from Cardiff University's Department of Genetics, Haematology and Pathology have developed a unique way of measuring DNA damage frequency using tiny microarrays.

Using the new method Cardiff scientists can, for the first time, examine all 28,000 human genes where previous techniques have only allowed scientists to analyse parts of about five human genes.

The new patented technique offers an unprecedented view of DNA damage in humans caused by agents that can create conditions like cancer.

Professor Waters said: "This is really an exciting development and offers us the chance to examine DNA damage in the entire human genome.

"The approach is especially useful to examine the damage to people's DNA that can go on to cause cancer. We can also examine DNA damaging anti-cancer therapeutics and how responses in individual patients vary."

Human DNA can be damaged in many different ways through radiation, chemicals and events in the body itself. Genetic defects in DNA repair can lead to cancer prone conditions, immunity defects, premature ageing and other problems.

In normal individuals there are many examples of DNA damage being linked to cancer, for example through smoking or over exposure to ultra-violet rays.

There is little evidence as to how DNA repair varies amongst the normal population and how normal individuals cope with anti-cancer therapies that damage the DNA in their cancer cells and normal cells.

The novel technology, developed with funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Cancer Research Wales, will have implications for cancer risk assessment, for cancer diagnostics and for deve
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Contact: Ray Waters
watersr1@cardiff.ac.uk
44-292-068-7336
Cardiff University
Source:Eurekalert

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