The Curious Case of The One-Eyed Sheep

Herper, Matthew
November 2005
Forbes Asia;11/28/2005, Vol. 1 Issue 8, p66
The article focuses on the discovery of the plant chemical cyclopamine as treatment for certain types of cancer. The chemical blocks the function of a gene called Sonic hedgehog that is essential for embryonic development but also causes deadly cancers of the pancreas, skin, prostate and esophagus. Mutation in Sonic hedgehog in human may result in infants with a single eye or a hole in the center of their head and underdeveloped brains. Researcher Matthew Scott and his colleagues found that defects in hedgehog or related genes were present in two rare diseases linked to cancers which are the Gorlin's syndrome and medulloblastoma.


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