State-of-the-art vs. the leading edge in colon cancer race

A race to identify a gene responsible for colon cancer ended in a dead heat last week, as a low-key lab at Harvard's Dana-Farber Cancer Center used old-fashioned networking and DNA probes to keep pace with Human Genome Sciences Inc.'s automated gene sequencing capabilities.

The Dana-Farber team used DNA probes - biochemical fishing - to pull out the human gene. The gene fragments used as probes came from a researcher at Oregon Health Sciences University. The Oregon researcher had obtained the fragments by first matching bacterial MutL, a DNA repair gene, with the mouse gene, and