PerspectiveCell Biology

An Age of Instability

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Science  26 Sep 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5641, pp. 1859-1860
DOI: 10.1126/science.1090465

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It is well established that as we age our cancer risk increases dramatically. As Sinclair explains in his Perspective, the link between cancer and aging is now solidified by new work in budding yeast (McMurray and Gottschling). As yeast cells age there is a marked increase in their genetic instability (a hallmark of cancer), which is independent of the mechanism that determines their life-span.