Winning the race to find BRCA1, Mark Skolnick
Interviewee: Mark Skolnick. Mark Skolnick discusses how luck was a major element that helped his team win the race to find and clone BRCA1. (DNAi Location: Applications > Genes and medicine > Gene hunting > The finish line Factors in winning)
People wonder what were the elements that allowed us to win, and I think of course in any race like this there is a large element of luck - which gene you choose to look at first, compared with which gene you put later on in the stack, whether the families you have have changes that are going to be revealed by that gene or, or not. A lot has to do with the quality of the team, a lot has to do with the approach that you took. And we took an approach that used what are called bacterial artificial chromosomes, or BACs, where some of the competitors used yeast artificial chromosomes, or YACs, and as fate would have it, there was a hole, not well covered by YACs, where the BRCA1 gene was, and it was covered by BACs. So were we lucky that it was covered by the reagent we chose to use, are we, were we smart in choosing a reagent that covered the gene? Is the cup half full, is the cup half empty?
bacterial artificial chromosomes,chromsomes,location applications,winning the race,breast cancer,finish line,interviewee,reagent,brca1 gene,yeast,yacs,genes,stack,fate,bacs,element,elements,medicine
Mark Skolnick talks about moving on after the discovery of BRCA1 to find and clone another gene associated with breast cancer, BRCA2.
Mary-Claire King reflects on how knowledge gained from the identification of BRCA1 and BRCA2 could lead to improved cancer treatments.
Mary-Claire King talks about the value of using the centuries-old tool of family pedigrees to gain insight into patterns of inheritance of genetic disorders.
Mark Skolnick recounts the complicated process of verifying that the gene they had found was indeed BRCA1.
Mary-Claire King talks about her first steps toward finding the gene responsible for certain kinds of inherited breast cancer.
BRCA1, on chromosome 17, is one of the genes associated with hereditary breast cancer.
Mary-Claire King speaks about how much was yet to be understood about the genetic mechanisms of cancer when she began her hunt for genes associated with breast cancer.
Mark Skolnick is Chief Scientific Officer at Myriad Genetics, Inc.
Mary-Claire King recalls her reaction when she heard that the Skolnick team had successfully cloned BRCA1 and made it to the finish line first.
Mary-Claire King talks about the search for a bit of DNA that would shed light on why some members of a family developed cancer while others did not.