Oct 25, 2017

Scientists identify new gene variations linked to breast cancer

Erica Pandey, author of @Work

A radiologist checks mammograms for signs of breast cancer. Photo: Damian Dovarganes / AP

Scientists have found over 70 genetic variants that are linked to a patient's risk of developing breast cancer, The Scientist reports. The variants are enumerated in two new studies in Nature and Nature Genetics.

Why it matters: The discoveries could help predict whether or not women are at risk for breast cancer based on their genetics. Researchers could also use the findings to "identify genes and pathways and biological mechanisms that allow us to understand how breast cancers arise," Timothy Rebbeck, an epidemiologist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, told The Scientist.

Worth noting: The newly identified variants are found in large swaths of the population but the risk for breast cancer associated with having just one of the mutations is small compared to that related to mutations in high-risk genes like BCRA1 and BCRA2, Roger Milne, a cancer epidemiologist involved with both studies, told The Scientist.

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DOJ to treat antifa involvement in protests as domestic terrorism

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Attorney General Bill Barr said in a statement Sunday that the Justice Department will use its network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces to identify the "criminal organizers and instigators" of violence during the George Floyd protests, including antifa and similar groups.

Why it matters: Barr, President Trump and other members of the administration have pinned the blame for riots and looting over the past few days of protests against police brutality on antifa, a loosely defined far-left movement that uses violence and direct-action protest tactics.

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Why it matters: With the White House and Twitter at war, Facebook has managed to keep diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful social-media devotee.

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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

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Why it matters: The pressure that companies feel to speak out on issues has increased during the Trump era, as businesses have sought to fill a trust void left by the government. Now, some of the biggest companies are quickly taking a public stand on the protests, pressuring all other brands to do the same.