DATABASE: Carcinogen Hunt

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Science  11 Aug 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5788, pp. 739
DOI: 10.1126/science.313.5788.739a

Benzene and DDT make the list of compounds that cause cancer in lab animals, but caffeine doesn't. For an exhaustive roundup of this research, check out the Carcinogenic Potency Database from Lois Swirsky Gold, Bruce Ames, and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. The site collates data on the cancer-causing ability of 1485 compounds, drawing on more than 6000 animal tests from the 1950s through the 1990s. A chart atop each compound's page summarizes the results and, if they are positive, lists which organs develop tumors and the dose that spurred cancer in half of the animals studied. Read further for a synopsis of experiments on the substance. The authors are known for arguing that the risk to humans from synthetic chemicals is overstated, but their views don't color the site's coverage.

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