Genetic errors identified in 12 major cancer types

By analyzing the DNA in more than 3,000 tumors, scientists led by Li Ding, PhD, at The Genome Institute have identified 127 repeatedly mutated genes that likely drive the growth of a range of cancers in the body. The discovery sets the stage for devising new diagnostic tools and more personalized cancer treatments.

Survival of the fittest? Anthropologist suggests the nicest prevail — not just the selfish

Are humans inherently good? The prevailing view in popular and scientific literature is that humans and animals are genetically driven to compete for survival, thus making all social interaction inherently selfish. According to this line of reasoning, known as sociobiology, even seemingly unselfish acts of altruism merely represent a species’ strategy to survive and preserve its genes. But Robert W. Sussman, Ph.D., a professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, argues that this is a narrow and simplistic view of evolutionary theory that fails to explain many aspects of sociality among mammals in general and primates in particular. In “The Origins and Nature of Sociality,” a new book Sussman co-edited, he and other researchers challenge the proponents of sociobiology. “The ‘selfish gene’ hypothesis is inadequate,” Sussman says.