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Surprising Science

Hunt for a Genetic Killer

Researchers have come up empty in their quest to link genetic “copy-number variations” to diseases like breast cancer and diabetes.

Researchers had hoped to find so-called “copy-number variations” — extra or missing genetic sequences — in the human genome that might be linked to diseases like breast cancer and diabetes, but have come up empty. CNVs have been linked to some rare diseases, and scientists had hoped to find that they play a role in common diseases as well. The researchers wrote that the bulk of CNVs appear to do nothing.


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