Solar Orbiter launch; Mutational signatures in cancer; paleo-oncology

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The latest space mission to the Sun is due to launch on Sunday. SolO, the European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter, will loop around our star in an elliptical orbit, sling-shotting around Venus. Professor Richard Harrison at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory has been on the mission from its conception, he details the instruments and what they're hoping to discover about the Sun and its impact on space weather back here on Earth. If chemicals in cigarette smoke or exposure to UV light played a role in causing a cancerous tumour, we can now see this evidence in the DNA. These and other causes of cancer are being catalogued by a huge international study revealing the genetic fingerprints of DNA-damaging processes that drive cancer development. Professor Mike Stratton, is director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute and author of one of many papers released in Nature and associated journals this week that detail the results of the Pan-Cancer of Whole Genomes Consortium. Cancer is not a modern disease. Evidence in bones and remains reveal our ancient ancestors also suffered. Dr. Kate Hunt is a paleo-pathologist studying paleo-oncology, a very specific, very recent branch of archaeology, looking through ancient burial sites, artefacts and literature for signs of cancer. Presenter - Marnie Chesterton Producer - Fiona Roberts

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