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Conceptual illustration of personalized medicine with medical icons next to a human face.
The Largest Whole-genome Sequencing Study in Cancer 
Comprehensive genome sequencing of 13,880 tumors revealed somatic and germline mutations that could influence patient treatment and prognosis.
The Largest Whole-genome Sequencing Study in Cancer 
The Largest Whole-genome Sequencing Study in Cancer 

Comprehensive genome sequencing of 13,880 tumors revealed somatic and germline mutations that could influence patient treatment and prognosis.

Comprehensive genome sequencing of 13,880 tumors revealed somatic and germline mutations that could influence patient treatment and prognosis.

somatic mutations

Glass mosaic with the image of two people. The bodies are arbitrarily crossed by lines that divide them into amorphous fractions, some of them colored.
Noninherited Genetic Mutations Link to Schizophrenia
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Jul 20, 2023 | 2 min read
By studying the genomes of more than 24,000 individuals, researchers discovered rare genetic mutations that may shed light on mechanisms underlying schizophrenia.
Brown coral in shallow water branching upward with blue fish in front. 
Corals Upend Longstanding Idea About Genetic Inheritance
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Sep 1, 2022 | 4 min read
Most animals can’t pass on mutations that arise spontaneously throughout their lives—but Elkhorn corals can.
The Mosaic Brain
Sejal Davla, PhD | 1 min read
How somatic mutations cause brain diseases
Q&A: How Animals Change in Space
Jef Akst | Nov 25, 2020 | 4 min read
Weill Cornell Medicine geneticist Christopher Mason speaks with The Scientist about a bolus of new work on the physiological, cellular, and molecular effects of leaving Earth.
Thousands of Mutations Accumulate in the Human Brain Over a Lifetime
Ruth Williams | Dec 7, 2017 | 4 min read
Single-cell genome analyses reveal the amount of mutations a human brain cell will collect from its fetal beginnings until death.
Opinion: How to Define Cell Type
Fred H. Gage, Sara B. Linker, and Tracy A. Bedrosian | Nov 1, 2017 | 4 min read
Advances in single-cell technologies have revealed vast differences between cells once thought to be in the same category, calling into question how we define cell type in the first place.
234-Year-Old Tree Has Impressively Stable Genome
Jef Akst | Jun 20, 2017 | 1 min read
Genomic analysis of an oak tree that lived during Napoleon’s time supports the idea that plants somehow avoid the accumulation of mutations in their stem cells.
DNA Replication Errors Contribute to Cancer Risk
Anna Azvolinsky | Mar 23, 2017 | 4 min read
A follow-up study confirms that random mutations acquired during normal stem cell division likely play a major role in cancer incidence.
Abundant Sequence Errors in Public Databases
Ruth Williams | Feb 16, 2017 | 3 min read
A new algorithm reveals hoards of preparation-induced DNA mutations in publicly available human sequences.
Smoking-Linked Cancer Mutations Mapped
Anna Azvolinsky | Nov 3, 2016 | 3 min read
Scientists produce a detailed genomic map of mutations and epigenetic changes associated with smoking tobacco across 17 tumor types. 
Sequencing Reveals Genomic Diversity of the Human Brain
Ben Andrew Henry | Sep 16, 2016 | 3 min read
Researchers examine the role of long interspersed element-1 retrotransposition in neuronal mosaicism.
Monitoring Mitochondrial Mutations
Catherine Offord | Apr 17, 2016 | 2 min read
Induced pluripotent stem cells—particularly those generated from older patients—should be screened for defects in mitochondrial DNA, a study shows.
Low Mutation Rate in iPSCs
Catherine Offord | Apr 10, 2016 | 2 min read
The mutation rate in induced pluripotent stem cells is 10 times lower than in somatic cells, scientists show.
Mosaic Mutations May Not Be Rare
Anna Azvolinsky | Jun 5, 2015 | 3 min read
Somatic mosaicism may be responsible for a larger proportion of genomic variability within humans than previously thought.
Personalized Cancer Vaccines
Anna Azvolinsky | Apr 2, 2015 | 3 min read
A dendritic cell vaccine targeting melanoma patients’ tumor-specific mutations can activate a broad range of cancer-fighting T cells. 
Stem Cell Divisions Help Explain Cancer Risk
Anna Azvolinsky | Jan 1, 2015 | 3 min read
An analysis of 31 tissues finds that random mutations acquired during stem cell divisions correlate with lifetime cancer risk.  
Mosaic Mutations
Kate Yandell | Jul 31, 2014 | 3 min read
Some genetic abnormalities that appear to have sprung up independently in children are in fact present in a portion of their parents’ cells.
Mutation Patterns Underlie Cancers
Kerry Grens | Aug 15, 2013 | 2 min read
More than 20 genome-wide mutational “signatures” account for the vast majority of 30 common cancers.
New Type of DNA Discovered?
Sabrina Richards | Mar 8, 2012 | 3 min read
Small circles of extrachromosomal DNA appear to be widespread in mammals, and may be byproducts of small deletions in the nuclear DNA of somatic cells.
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