A single gene has been found responsible for inflammation, accelerated ageing and cancer.
Researchers at NYU School of Medicine understood that there were clear links between inflammation, ageing and cancer but the connection remained elusive.
However, the discovery that a single gene is responsible, while answering a number of questions, is something of a shock.
"This was certainly an unexpected finding," said principal investigator Dr Robert J Schneider, the Albert Sabin Professor of Molecular Pathogenesis, associate director for translational research and co-director of the Breast Cancer Program at NYU Langone Medical Center.
"It is rather uncommon for one gene to have two very different and very significant functions that tie together control of aging and inflammation. The two, if not regulated properly, can eventually lead to cancer development."
The researchers are now looking into how they can use the findings to determine how the changes to the gene manifest, calling the discovery very exciting.
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