Proximity Matters

Science  06 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5489, pp. 62-63
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5489.62

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Many cancers induced by radiation have characteristic chromosomal abnormalities in which a section of one chromosome becomes fused to or exchanged with a section of another chromosome. It has long been debated whether the points of chromosomal exchange are established before or after radiation damage. Savage comments in his Perspective on new findings ( Nikiforova et al.) suggesting that the chromosomal points of exchange are already established before radiation exposure and may be a normal feature of cell differentiation.