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72 major genetic risk factors for breast cancer identified in new study  

Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 @ 11:45 AM

A breast cancer awareness flag, flies outside the Borg Warner Building in Chicago in 2013.
Raymond Boyd/Getty Images
A breast cancer awareness flag, flies outside the Borg Warner Building in Chicago in 2013.(Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

Two new studies published Monday in the journals Nature and Nature Genetics revealed 72 previously unknown genetic risk factors — or gene mutations — that lead to the development of breast cancer.

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The studies encompass work from more than 500 researchers at 300 institutions around the world, a collaboration headed by the OncoArray Consortium, a global network of scientists studying genomics.

The researchers examined genetic data, including blood samples, from a combined 275,000 women, 146,000 of whom had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The bulk of the mutations found (65) predispose to the most common type of breast cancer, hormone receptor-positive (or ER-positive) breast cancer.

The other seven predispose to hormone receptor-negative breast cancer.

>> Related: Could dark hair dyes and chemical relaxers be linked to higher risk for breast cancer?

“These findings add significantly to our understanding of the inherited basis of breast cancer as well as identifying new genetic variants, we have also confirmed many that we had previously suspected,” study investigator Doug Easton of the University of Cambridge said. “There are some clear patterns in the genetic variants that should help us understand why some women are predisposed to breast cancer, and which genes and mechanisms are involved.”

How much can the newly identified genes predict about breast cancer risk?

Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer

There is sufficient scientific evidence to prove first-degree relatives of a hormone receptor-positive breast cancer patient have double the risk of getting breast cancer themselves compared to women without a family history of the cancer. 

>> Related: Why are more black women dying of breast cancer compared to white women?

After studying 122,977 cases of ER-positive cases, researchers can explain an additional 4 percent of that heritable breast cancer risk.

Previous research about the presence of common BRCA1 and BRCA 2 gene mutations show they also account for about 17 percent of heritable breast cancer risk.

With what the medical community already knows about BRCA1, BRCA2, other variants, plus the newly identified genes, it’s estimated that about 39 percent of heritable ER-positive breast cancer risk can be explained, researchers said.

Hormone receptor-negative breast cancer

>> Related: FDA approves Lilly pill for common advanced breast cancer

While studying 21,468 ER-negative cases, the researchers identified 10 new gene mutations that could explain approximately 1.5 of the heritable risk of ER-negative breast cancer. With the new research and previous research, the researchers can now explain 14 percent of the heritable risk.

“If you can differentiate women into groups of sufficiently different risks, you might be able to save more lives,” Roger Mine, lead researcher of the “Nature Genetics” study and co-author of the “Nature” study, said. One example: Women with different risks could receive tailored screenings. 

Read the full ER-negative study in Nature Genetics.

The researchers encourage clinicians to apply the new findings at the clinical level, but also urge future researchers to further study the mechanisms of the newly-identified gene mutations to learn more about how cancer manifests itself and how it can be better detected.

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Meatball pizza bowl comes to Olive Garden’s lunch menu

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 12:07 PM

Olive Garden has a new Meatball Pizza Bowl on its lunch menu.
Jeffery Patrick / Olive Garden
Olive Garden has a new Meatball Pizza Bowl on its lunch menu.(Jeffery Patrick / Olive Garden)

Olive Garden has added a pizza to its menu -- sort of.

Delish reported the Meatball Pizza Bowl is part of a new Lunch Duos menu, which offers an entree and unlimited soup or salad. The bowl, which is made of pizza dough, has similar toppings to the restaurant’s famous breadsticks. It has three cheeses -- Parmesan, mozzarella and Asiago, according to USA Today.

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The price of the entree, which Thrillist reported is topped with 10 meatballs, starts at $6.99, although prices vary depending on the location.

The Meatball Pizza Bowl is available for lunch Monday through Friday before 3 p.m.

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Marco Rubio faces a tough crowd during CNN's town hall for gun reform

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:35 AM

WATCH: Senator Marco Rubio Speaks At CNN Town Hall For Gun Reform

During CNN’s Wednesday night town hall with Florida lawmakers, survivors of last week’s high school shooting and members of the NRA, Sen. Marco Rubio attempted to explain why a ban on assault rifles wouldn’t have prevented the tragedy, and the audience’s reaction was not quite what he was hoping for.

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While explaining what a ban on assault rifles would do, the Republican senator from Florida said to ensure no one would “get around it.”

“You would literally have to ban every semi-automatic rifle that’s sold in America.” A surprised Rubio, who appeared to have been hoping to convince the audience against such an idea, was met with a solid 10 seconds of applause that overwhelmed the room.

“Fair enough, fair enough,” the senator said as the cheers died down.

>> Related: Who are the top 10 recipients of NRA money?

The moment came just after a grieving father called Rubio’s reaction to the mass shooting “pathetically weak” and asked whether the senator would support banning assault rifles like Nikolas Cruz’s AR-15 in order to save the lives of children.

“It’s too easy to get. It is a weapon of war,” the father emotionally said. “The fact that you can’t stand with everybody else in this building and say that, I’m sorry.”

A flustered Rubio assured him, “I do believe what you’re saying is true,” before launching into his argument against an assault rifles ban.

>> Related: Alleged Florida high school shooter has $800,000 inheritance, reports say

CNN’s town hall follows last week’s shooting at Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School where gunman Nikolas Cruz fatally shot 17 people and injured over a dozen more. In the time since, many of the school’s surviving students have been commanding public attention and demanding a conversation about gun reform in the United States.

WATCH: Florida Sheriff Attends Town Hall For Gun Reform

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Daylight saving time 2018: Seven things to know about ‘springing forward’

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Spring Forward: Daylight Saving

You may want to store up some extra sleep in the next few weeks because you are about to lose an hour of it.

Come March 11 at 2 a.m. most of America will be “springing forward” as daylight saving time kicks in, giving us another hour of sunlight.

Here’s a look at seven things you may not have known about daylight saving time.

  1. “Spring forward and fall back” is an easy way to remember how to set the clock when daylight saving times begins and ends. You set your clock forward one hour at 2 a.m. on March 11. You’ll set it back one hour at 2 a.m. on Nov. 4.
  2. In the United States, daylight saving time began on March 21, 1918. U.S. government officials reasoned that fuel could be saved by reducing the need for lighting in the home.
  3. Ancient agrarian civilizations used a form of daylight saving time, adjusting their timekeeping depending on the sun’s activity.
  4. Many people call it daylight savings time. The official name is daylight saving time. No ‘s’ on ‘saving.’
  5. Benjamin Franklin came up with an idea to reset clocks in the summer months as a way to conserve energy.
  6. A standardized system of beginning and ending daylight saving time came in 1966 when the Uniform Time Act became law. While it was a federal act, states were granted the power to decide if they wanted to remain on standard time year-round.
  7. Arizona (except for the Navajo, who do observe daylight saving time on tribal lands), Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands do not observe daylight saving time.

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Man shot, killed with children in car in possible case of road rage

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 9:14 AM

Road Rage May Have Led To Man Shot & Killed With Children In Car

A man was shot and killed early Thursday in a possible case of road rage in Georgia, police said.

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Investigators were at the entrance of the Brighton Village subdivision in Dekalb County on Thursday morning, where the man’s body was found in a car after at least three shots were fired.

The DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office was at the scene, Lt. Mark Lavigne said.

According to police, the victim’s two children and two other adults were in the car at the time of the fatal 4 a.m. shooting.

One of the adults in the car was the victim’s wife, WSBTV reported

The victim’s relation to the other adult in the car was not immediately known.

No one else was injured.

It was not immediately clear whether the incident was related to a pair of random shootings that injured two drivers in southwest Atlanta earlier Thursday.

>> On AJC.com: 2 drivers shot in separate incidents just miles apart

“We will definitely be looking into that,” Lavigne said.

Police continued to investigate the shooting Thursday.

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