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President Obama honors UW scientist with Medal of Science

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SEATTLE (AP) _ President Obama is giving the National Medal of Science to a University of Washington scientist credited with connecting a gene mutation with breast cancer.

Mary-Claire King is being honored at a White House ceremony on Thursday for her research on evolution and the genetics of human disease. Before modern gene sequencing, King demonstrated that inherited gene mutations play a significant role in determining who gets cancer and why breast cancer seems to be more common in some families.

The National Medal of Science is the nation’s highest recognition for scientific achievement. King has spent more than 40 years as a researcher and teacher, as well as using genetics to reunite families.

She is one of nine recipients of the award this year. Honorees are chosen by a committee from the National Science Foundation.