The breast cancer genome's "dark matter" starts to give up some secrets
Across the landscape of cancer genome studies over the last two decades, the two percent of the genome made up of protein-encoding genes has proven to be fertile ground for researchers. There, scientists have uncovered hundreds of cancer-driving mutations and other alterations that change proteins’ structure and function (or stop their production altogether), fueling development of dozens of targeted treatments across several tumor types. The other 98 percent of the genome — the noncoding genome, which includes the regulatory regions that controls where and when genes are turned on and off — has been less forthcoming with its secrets in cancer, however. And not for a lack of interest.