Chromosome 13: BRCA2 gene for breast cancer susceptibility, Matt Ridley
Interviewee: Matt Ridley. BRCA2, on chromosome 13, is one of the genes associated with hereditary breast cancer. Although gender, age and environmental effects are major risk factors for breast cancer, having a mutation in either the BRCA2 gene or BRCA1 gene (on chromosome 17) increases the risk. (DNAi Location: Genome > Tour > Genome spots > Chromosome 13: breast cancer > A Chromosome 13 story)
On chromosome 13, there's a gene called BRCA2. Mutations in this gene can increase someone's susceptibility to breast cancer. But most cancer isn't genetic in that sense â€“ it's not inherited. Most cancer is caused by events in our lives, in the environment. And yet in another sense, cancer is a purely genetic disease; it's a disease caused by genes doing things they shouldn't: normal genes, but genes that shouldn't be switched on to cause the growth, division, and proliferation of cells in the body. There's a whole series of genetic fail-safes to make sure this doesn't happen in a healthy body, but sometimes a whole series of mutations can knock out the fail-safes and the result is a cancer tumor.
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BRCA2, on chromosome 13, is one of the genes associated with hereditary 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.
Mary-Claire King talks about testing for breast cancer.
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.
Denise talks about her family's affliction with inherited breast cancer and her decision to have her breasts removed as a preventive measure.
Cancer is a disease that affects people of all nationalities and age groups and all cancers start with mutations in one cell.
Mary-Claire King talks about her first steps toward finding the gene responsible for certain kinds of inherited breast cancer.
Pat Brown talks about using microarrays to discover the differences between cancer cells and healthy cells.