News

Gene Editing Induces Hallucinations in Mice

19 July 2019

Scientists have genetically engineered neurons in mice to give them hallucinations. The research could help identify why certain people experience hallucinations, associated with several mental illnesses, and inform new treatments. Two genes were inserted into the neuron cells of the mice’s visual cortex, the part of the brain that processes visual information. One coded for […]

19 July 2019

Gender Affects Gene Expression in Mammals

Although it has been known that different genes determine different characteristics in male and females, new research suggests that differences in gene expression has a much larger impact than previously thought. Many diseases and traits show difference between the sexes. For example, autism is more common in males than females, but multiple sclerosis is more […]

18 July 2019

Anti-Starvation Mechanism Behind Obesity Epidemic

An evolutionary survival mechanism that helped early humans avoid starvation could be behind the obesity epidemic in society today. Starvation puts considerable stress on cells. The body responds with a mechanism that blocks fat from burning when the body is starving, injured or cold. This enables energy to be conserved so people can survive longer, […]

18 July 2019

First AI-Designed Vaccine Created

Researchers have revealed the first vaccine purely designed by artificial intelligence (AI). This has the potential to revolutionise the drug discovery process by making it quicker, cheaper and producing more effective drugs. From target discovery to market, the drug discovery process takes on average nine years and millions of dollars. The majority of this time […]

18 July 2019

Biobank 2019 — An Interview with Professor Joshua Denny, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

The UK Biobank’s 2019 scientific conference concluded this month, showcasing fantastic speakers on topics ranging from use of the UK Biobank, to using genomics to understand individual risk. Among them was Professor Josh Denny, Vanderbilt University. FLG spoke to him about his talk on phenome-wide association studies (PheWAS): a research technique used to understand what disease associations can be made with a given gene.

17 July 2019

RNA Key to Anti-Ageing Skincare

Scientists have found that RNA production is behind the regenerative affects of laser skincare treatments. Laser treatments are a widespread cosmetic procedure to make skin appear younger and healthier. The laser slightly damages the skin cells, forcing them to repair themselves. After the repair process, the skin looks younger, but until recently the mechanism to […]

16 July 2019

Study Suggests Genetic Basis for Anorexia

A new genetic study has revealed anorexia, previously thought to be solely a psychiatric disease, is influenced by metabolic factors. Anorexia is an eating disorder and a serious mental health condition. Sufferers try to keep their weight as low as possible by eating as little as possible or exercising as much as they can. Sufferers […]

16 July 2019

Genomic Barcode Identifies Immune Cells that Can Tackle Cancer

Researchers have developed a new technique to pinpoint immune cells in cancer patients that are reactive against their disease. This research could lead to more targeted immune-based therapies for cancer patients. Immunotherapy is a relatively new field of cancer treatment which works by promoting the patient’s immune system to fight against the cancer. Although immune […]

16 July 2019

Healthy Lifestyle can Reduce Genetic Risk for Dementia

A study has shown that you can reduce your risk of getting dementia by adapting a healthy lifestyle, regardless of your genetic pre-disposition. Genetic factors can increase a person’s likelihood of getting dementia, but until now it was not known if making lifestyle changes could reduce this risk. 196,383 individuals above 60 years of age […]

15 July 2019

Malnourished Children Recover Better with Microbiome Repairing Food

A new treatment for malnourished children, using food that promotes a healthy microbiome, has been found to aid recovery better than current alternatives. Malnourished children often struggle to recover and find gaining weight again extremely difficult, even with sufficient food. Scientists have long suspected this is due to the role of the gut microbiome. Gut […]

15 July 2019

New Gene Linked to Healthy Ageing in Worms

A gene has been identified in worms that improves their health, but not their lifespan, as they age. Maintaining quality of life is becoming a focus in healthcare for the elderly, as people that live to the same age do not necessarily have the same quality of life. Some maintain both their movement and cognitive […]

12 July 2019

Science of Gender-Swapping Fish Revealed

New research has explored the dynamic genetic changes taking place during the bluehead wrasse’s sex change. The bluehead wrasse social group consists of one dominant blue male fish and a harem of yellow females. However, when the dominant male is removed from the group the largest female immediately undergoes a full sex change and becomes […]

12 July 2019

Changes to Genetic Risk Factors Not Always Reported to Patients

Patients are not being informed about changes to their genetic risk factors for cancer, a new study shows. If an individual has a family history of a type of cancer, they can get a genetic test to identify their own cancer risk. Identifying a genetic risk means that person can get regular check-ups and be […]

12 July 2019

Why do Humans Procrastinate?

A genetic variant has been found to increase an individual’s tendency to procrastinate, the act of delaying an essential task in favour of easier and less vital ones. Procrastination can harm productivity in both the workplace and everyday life. It can also negatively affect physical and mental health. However, if you are getting frustrated at […]