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Word Count: 584
It is estimated that cancer affects three out of four families in the United States alone the disease and its treatments cause substantial mortality and morbidity prompting intense interest in cancer prevention Most available treatments for cancers are non-specific meaning that they target all rapidly growing cells both normal and cancerous Consequences of these treatments include side effects towards the normal cells In addition cancer is a genetically unstable disease Cancer cells can develop drug resistance through repeated rounds of mutation and selection This may render a particular non-specific chemotherapeutic treatment ineffective so that new drugs must be administered in its place To remedy this occurrence current research is focusing on the genetic level to terminate the disease and to avoid the damaging side effects and development of drug resistance One avenue of research focuses on antisense oligonucleotide to target the oncogenes or cancer causing genes in a specific fashion to completely inhibit the expression of the oncogenes Information necessary to produce proteins in cells is contained in genes In humans it is contained in the human genome and its collection of more than 100000 genes Genes are made up of DNA The DNA molecule is a double helix They are made up of Adenine Thymidine Guanine and Cytosine and are bound by hydrogen to complementary nucleotides on the other strand RNA is the DNA intermediary and carries the information necessary for the cell to produce its specific protein During the transferring on information the DNA strand partly uncoils The sense strand separates from the antisense strand Because RNA is translated by the cell it is called the sense strand The hybridization of an antisense strand to mRNA can interfere with its translation to protein Antisense oligonucleotide are polymers of nucleic acids which can vary from 12-25 base pairs in length and which are sequence specific and bind to the target mRNA or DNA through complementary hydrogen bonding Antisense theory proposes that oligonucleotide
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