Killer clones

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Science  10 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6364, pp. 714-715
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6364.714

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Mutations in our hematopoietic stem cells can allow one clone of blood cells to become abnormally abundant. Researchers have discovered that this imbalance, known as clonal hematopoiesis, is more common than they thought and becomes more prevalent as we get older. Fifty percent or more of people in their 80s may have the condition. Clonal hematopoiesis can have a profound effect on our health, boosting the risk of developing leukemia by more than 10 times and doubling the chances of developing heart disease or suffering a stroke. Researchers have uncovered one possible mechanism for its effects on the cardiovascular system, showing that the condition makes macrophages more pro-inflammatory.