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Contact: Greg Lester
The Wistar Institute

The Moment When a Mole Becomes Cancerous

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Caption: Wistar's Katherine Aird discusses the Zhang Lab's findings on the mechanics of oncogene-induced senescence. In the April 25, 2013 issue of the journal Cell Reports, they demonstrate how DNA damage can cause a cell to become senescent, a state where growth is halted. (A mole on your skin is an example of a senescent cell you see every day.) They show how this happens as cells suppress the ability to generate nucleotides (the building blocks of DNA). When you supply the cell with new sources of nucleotides, the cell will go into a frenzy of multiplication -- a hallmark of cancer.

Credit: The Wistar Institute

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Related news release: Shutting down DNA construction: How senescence halts growth of potential cancers

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