NYTimes’ “Autism’s Unexpected Link to Cancer Gene”: an old story, made murky

| August 12, 2013
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Perhaps you saw the New York Times headline. God knows, it was eye catching enough: “Autism’s Unexpected Link to Cancer Gene.”

That headline and the utterly confusing story that followed both fail to emphasize some important clarifications: First, the gene in question isn’t just a “cancer gene.” It’s a gene that regulates the cell cycle, and changes in these genes can and do have effects that aren’t confined to cancer. Calling it a “cancer” gene in this context is inflammatory, at best.

Autistic people and their families deserve more care than this, and readers of the New York Times deserve careful, accurate science writing placed in an appropriate context.

Read the full, original story here: Autism And Cancer Are Not Parallels

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The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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