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Genes & Cells

A look at how ovarian cancer spreads, plus clues to aging and immune links to cancer in this week’s news

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5:37pm, June 17, 2011
Ovarian cancer gets a move on
Like a celebrity’s entourage clearing a path through crowds, ovarian cancer cells muscle aside healthy tissue to spread throughout the body. Researchers at Harvard Medical School captured the tumor cells’ bullying tactics in time-lapse movies and report the results in the July Cancer Discovery. Ovarian cancer cells use at least three proteins to pry apart healthy cells, the team discovered. A protein called integrin acts like a grappling hook to snag scaffold proteins surrounding healthy cells. A second protein called talin tethers the grappling hook to a motor protein called myosin, which generates the traction to force a hole through healthy tissue. Understanding how cancer spreads through the body may lead to treatments to stop or prevent the invasion. —Tina Hesman Saey

New clues from premature aging 
An abnormal protein that builds up in children with a pr

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