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.

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“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. 

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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

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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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Subtropical Storm Alberto strengthens bringing gusty winds, heavy rains, storm surge to Gulf region

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 10:31 AM
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 11:33 PM

What are Tropical Storms?

Tropical storm warnings are up across Florida and along parts of the Gulf Coast as Subtropical Storm Alberto lumbers across the Gulf of Mexico ruining Memorial Day holiday plans for thousands of vacationers.

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Update May 27, 2018 11:30 p.m. EDT: Subtropical Storm Alberto is about 95 miles from Apalachicola, Florida and continues to move north at 9 mph. 

The Tropical Storm Warning from the Anclote to the Suwanee River has ended, according  to the National Hurricane Center

Update May 27, 2018 5:05 p.m. EDT: Subtropical Storm Alberto continues to move north, north west with no change in strength. 

The Tropical Storm Warning along the west coast of Florida south of the Anclote River has ended, according to the National Hurricane Center

The Storm Surge Warning for the northern Gulf Coast of west of Navarre, Florida has ended. 

Update May 27, 2018 11 a.m. EDT: Subtropical Storm Alberto is strengthening with wind speeds clocked at 50 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center, or NHC. The storm is moving north at 14 mph and it’s located about 130 miles southwest of Tampa.

Isolated tornadoes are possible as Alberto closes in on the region. Forecasters are predicting Alberto will make landfall sometime late Sunday or Monday, bringing gusty winds, heavy rain, flash flooding and storm surge to parts of the Gulf Coast.

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“Alberto is expected to produce heavy rainfall with a risk of flooding and flash flooding over western Cuba, the Florida Keys and south Florida today. The risk for heavy rainfall and flooding will then spread over much of the southeast U.S. tonight and Monday,” according to the NHC.

The NHC is warning of “dangerous surf and rip current conditions” along parts of the eastern and northern Gulf Coast through Monday.

 

>> Related: Alberto starts to bring rain to Central Florida as storm moves north

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A tropical storm warning has been issued for parts of the Florida Gulf Coast including from Bonita Beach to the Anclote River as well as north near the Aucilla River to the Mississippi/Alabama border, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

Heavy rainfall is expected as the storm, with sustained winds of 40 mph, continues to move at 13 mph through the Dry Tortugas. 

Five day forecast map. (Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

A storm surge watch has also been issued for parts of Florida and the Mississippi/Alabama border, officials said

The latest forecast ends the tropical storm and storm surge watch for parts of Louisiana. 

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Man, 79, pleads no contest to raping girl, 5, sentenced to 90 days house arrest

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 11:24 PM

File photo. (Photo: Pixabay)
File photo. (Photo: Pixabay)

A California businessman pleaded no contest to statutory rape of a 5-year-old girl Wednesday, and, as part of a negotiated deal with the San Joaquin County Superior Court, was sentenced to 90 days house arrest and will not have to register as a sex offender.

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Lyle Burgess, 79, of Stockton, sexually assaulted the girl, who is now 7, after her family was invited to his Calaveras County cabin in 2016, the family’s attorney told KTXL.

“They trusted this man, he was a family friend, and he took advantage of them,” family attorney Ken Meleyco told KTXL

Burgess, who founded an automotive parts manufacturing and distributing company, maintains his innocence, his attorney told the Stockton Record.

“I believe the allegations are motivated by greed. They are using this instance to try to gain financially,” Burgess’ attorney Gregory Davenport told the Stockton Record.

The parents have filed a civil suit against Burgess seeking unspecified damages, according to the Stockton Record.
"The girl is not doing good," Meleyco told KTXL. "She's showing all the symptoms of somebody who's been molested. She's in counseling, and she's gonna be in counseling all her life."

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Former President George H.W. Bush back in the hospital in Maine with low blood pressure

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 2:28 PM

Biography of George H.W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush is back in the hospital, according to a family spokesman.

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Bush was taken to Southern Maine Health Care Sunday “after experiencing low blood pressure and fatigue,” his spokesman Jim McGrath said on Twitter.

The former president is described as “awake and alert” and will probably remain hospitalized for a few days for observation, McGrath said.


Bush was most recently hospitalized in Houston on April 22, one day after the funeral and burial of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush.

During that hospital stay, he was diagnosed with an infection that had spread to his blood, doctors said at the time, but he recovered and eventually went home.

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At the time he said he was looking forward to visiting the family’s compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Bush was out and about Saturday, marking the Memorial Day holiday, joining a group of veterans at American Legion Post 159 for a pancake breakfast in Kennebunkport.

“Delighted to join the veterans, including my dear friend Gen. Brent Scowcroft,” Bush tweeted.

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Scowcroft was National Security Adviser during the presidencies of both Bush and Gerald Ford.

“This weekend we remember, and thank, all who have given their lives for our great country,” he said Saturday.

George Bush has a form of Parkinson's disease and uses a motorized scooter or wheelchair to get around. 

He was the youngest naval aviator when he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1943, spurred by the attack on Pearl Harbor.

He flew 58 combat missions during World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery.

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He had six children with Barbara Bush, and in 1989, he became the first sitting vice president to secure the presidency since 1837.

Former United States President George H. W. Bush prepares to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before game five of the 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas.(Pool/Getty Images)

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Reports: 1,500 immigrant children missing, feds say they’re not responsible

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 1:20 PM

Feds Say 1,500 Immigrant Children Missing, They’re Not Responsible

The federal government has admitted that it does not know the whereabouts of almost 1,500 immigrant children in its custody, according to news reports.

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The Office of Refugee Resettlement took in some 40,000 immigrant children in 2017 and when the agency reached out to check on more than 7,000 of them between October and December of 2017, 1,475 were unaccounted for at the end of the year, CNN reported.

The news came as the Trump administration cracks down on undocumented immigrants, threatening to separate more children from their families if the families are caught entering the United States illegally, in a new policy move.

In testimony before Congress earlier this month, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen said the children of illegal immigrants are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services within 48 hours after they are taken into custody, and DHHS officials then find sponsored homes for them, USA Today reported.

Nielsen said separations like this happen in the U.S. every day.

Top DHHS official Steven Wagner testified before a Congressional subcommittee last month during a hearing on the Office of Refugee Resettlement that the ORR was “was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children,” and that 28 more had run away, CNN reported.

“I understand that it has been HHS’ long-standing interpretation of the law that ORR is not legally responsible for the children after they are released from ORR care,” Wagner said. 

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Wagner also said DHHS is “taking a fresh look at that question,” according to CNN, but he also said ORR would need a lot more money if the office is expected to be legally responsible for unaccompanied immigrant children.

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