Washington Post Article About Genes Role in Cancer
From: "Lawrence A. Plumlee"
Cancer Study Deemphasizes Genes' Role
Washington Post, July 12, 2000, p. 1
The vast majority of cancers are caused not by inherited defects in people's genes, as many have come to believe in this age of genetics, but by environmental and behavioral factors such as chemical pollutants and unhealthy lifestyles, according to the largest cancer study ever to enter the "nature versus nurture" debate.
"Environmental factors are more important than gene factors, and that's important to remember, especially since everyone thinks that everything is solved now that we have the human genome in our computers," said Paul Lichtenstein of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, who led the giant study of 89,576 twins that is reported in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
"Even a gene that makes a small contribution," Collins said, "might be the light bulb we've been waiting for to help us understand how cancer happens."
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