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Scientists Have Identified the Mechanism That Decides Between Cell Death and Genome Repair
The DNA double helix’s sequence is programmed with the genetic information of every cell. When a double DNA strand breaks, it poses a threat to the cells and, if the break is not correctly repaired, it can lead to cancer. Double strand breaks can be caused by exposure to radiation. When a cell is damaged in this way, it has to decide whether the break can be fixed, or whether it should be removed before it causes cancer. If the decision is made for removal, the cell is killed off by a cellular suicide program called “apoptosis”.