Cellular stress during replication induces many small deletions and duplications in the genome, adding fuel for human diversity and disease, researchers reported today (Nov. 13) at the __American Society of Human Genetics__ linkurl:meeting;www.ashg.org/2008meeting/ in Philadelphia. Replication stress is known to be hazardous for the cell, and is thought to contribute to ageing and cancer. But exactly how stress causes DNA damage has remained unclear. Last year, a team led by linkurl:Thomas Glover,;http://www.hg.med.umich.edu/facultyprofile.php?id=7 a human geneticist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, showed that human-mouse hybrid cells exposed to linkurl:aphidicolin;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphidicolin -- an antibiotic that inhibits DNA polymerase and induces mitotic stress -- led to a high frequency of submicroscopic deletions at a particular genomic site with elevated susceptibility to DNA damage (__PNAS__, 105: 246-251, 2007). Now, Glover's team exposed linkurl:human fibroblasts;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54683/ to the same stressful conditions, and compared the stressed out cells with their normal counterparts using array-based...

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