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Genome instability studies could change the future of medical treatment for cancer and other diseases

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Six years ago, Dr. Makova and colleagues Kristin Eckert and Francesca Chiaromonte – all Huck Institutes affiliates in the Center for Medical Genomics – began employing a unique collaborative approach, combining computational biology, statistical modeling, and wet-bench experiments, to elucidate microsatellites' mutational behavior and the genomic events defining their evolution.
Genome instability studies could change the future of medical treatment for cancer and other diseases

Francesca Chiaromonte

Making steps toward the realization of personalized genomic medicine, Huck Institutes affiliates at the Center for Medical Genomics are finding and analyzing hotspots of genomic instability and mutation known as microsatellites.

Counterintuitive as it may seem, genetic mutation is key to our evolution and survival.

As our cells grow, reproduce, and die, DNA is repeatedly replicated and repaired, and bits and pieces of its sequences are perpetually changed, misplaced, and swapped in the process – producing mutations. These mutations create genetic variation, which results in different observable traits or phenotypes – providing material for the process of natural selection to act upon and driving the evolution of fitter populations.

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