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Michael Green

Moles' split personality

Moles' split personality

We've long been told to keep an eye on our moles lest they progress to melanoma, a form of skin cancer that's treatable if caught early, deadly if not. But not all moles are equal -- some are risky; others can be safely left alone. The biological roots of those differences are not really understood. However, scientists are making progress on several fronts.

A study reported in February found a key biological difference between moles that progress to melanomas and moles that do not. One day, the knowledge might be used to shrink moles that have become cancerous, rendering them harmless.

Another finding, published this month, reported striking improvements in people with...