News

Biogen to Seek Approval for First Alzheimer’s Drug

23 October 2019

In a major shake-up of the pharmaceutical market, Biogen announced that it intends to seek approval from the FDA for its Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab. This follows their earlier announcement that the two clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of the drug in patients had been discontinued. However, Biogen state that data from additional patients in the […]

23 October 2019

New Prime Editing Tool Will Revolutionise Gene Therapy

A new gene editing tool known as Prime Editing has been developed that could reverse the harmful mutations in over 89% of genetic diseases. Building on the CRISPR Success Currently the CRISPR Cas-9 system is the most widely used gene editing technique. However, concerns about CRISPR editing genes, other than the ones it is targeted […]

23 October 2019

Bacteria ‘Harpoon’ DNA to Gain Antibiotic Resistance

Bacteria are constantly evolving resistance to antibiotics, and it is estimated that over 23,000 people have died from resistant infections in the US. The multiple methods that bacteria use to acquire antibiotic resistant genes are not well understood. However, for the first time a ‘harpoon’ mechanism that bacteria use to gain resistance has been caught […]

22 October 2019

How diversity in genetic research can save lives

Our guest contributor Dr Neil Lamb continues his fortnighty Shareable Science Blog. Neil is the Vice President for Educational Outreach at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and Shareable Science will explore how genetics is relevant to people in their everyday lives.  In many ways, genetics boils down to a study of diversity. Humans share more […]

22 October 2019

Danger of CRISPR Off-Target Mutations Quantified

CRISPR gives us the ability to precisely edit genes within cells, and the technique holds enormous potential for transforming the gene therapy space. However, concerns about CRISPR editing genes other than the ones it is targeted to have hindered its introduction into patient treatments. Known as off-target mutations, these unintended gene edits caused by CRISPR […]

21 October 2019

Alzheimer’s Could have Metabolic Cause

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease characterized by the build-up of amyloid protein plaques in the brain. There are two conflicting theories for the cause of Alzheimer’s disease – the first being that the build up of the amyloid plaques directly causes the disease, and the second being that metabolic defects initiate the build-up of protein. […]

21 October 2019

Damping Down Brain Activity Could Extend Lifespan

Reducing brain activity could extend human lifespan, new research shows. Although it is known that gene expression changes as people age, the mechanisms that extend human lifespan are not well understood. However, new research has revealed that differences in brain activity could be the reason some people live longer than others. Extended longevity in humans […]

18 October 2019

Second Gene Mutation that Lets People Survive on Less Sleep

A new gene that enables people to survive on much less sleep has been identified. Most people require at least eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation can lead to multiple negative health impacts, including heart diseases and depression. However, some people have genetic variants which allow them to feel fully rested after only […]

18 October 2019

Ancestry DNA Begins Genetic Health Testing

The consumer genetic testing platform AncestryDNA will now offer customers genetic testing to understand their risks for a number of health conditions. From Family History to Healthcare Previously, Ancestry has exclusively focused on helping people trace their family history and understand inheritable traits. However, possibly in a bid to keep up with many of their […]

17 October 2019

The Genetics of Suicidal Behaviour

Suicide is UK’s leading, and silent, cause of death for young people aged 20-34 years. Rona Strawbridge, UKRI Innovation, has used the population genomic data from the UK Biobank in an effort to find the genetic association of psychological condition phenotypes such as depression.  She will be discussing her work at the upcoming Festival of Genomics. […]

17 October 2019

ATCC Genome Portal Provides Access to Reference-quality Genomes

Manassas, VA – October 1, 2019 – ATCC launched its new ATCC Genome Portal, a publicly available database of reference-quality genome sequences matched to authenticated ATCC biological materials that will help researchers interpret and reproduce their results with confidence. The portal, which launched with an initial 250 genome sequences of widely used bacterial strains, delivers […]

16 October 2019

AI for Drug Repurposing- An Interview with Ian Roberts, Healx

The Digital DNA series explores the role of large-scale genetic testing in science, industry and society. We aim to understand both the benefits and risks of this emerging technology and see what the future may hold. In the finale of our Digital DNA series we talked to Dr Ian Roberts, the Chief Technology Officer of […]

16 October 2019

How Mucus Glycans Put a Stop to Bacterial Infection

Glycans found in mucus can stop bacteria communicating, developing resistance and forming infectious biofilms. We produce 1.5 litres of mucus per day and it lines over 200 square metres of our bodies, including the digestive tract, lungs and urinary tract. However, new research has revealed that the mucus is a lot more than just a […]

15 October 2019

New Technique to Help Immune System Find Hidden Cancer Cells

Cancer cells are prone to disguising themselves from the immune system to avoid detection. However, a new system can pinpoint cancer cells to allow the immune system to eliminate the tumour. Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment that harnesses the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. Although immunotherapies have completely transformed the cancer treatment landscape, […]

15 October 2019

New Technique to Identify Genes Causing Rare Diseases

A new data analysis technique has shown success in identifying the faulty genes that cause rare genetic diseases. A Struggle for Diagnosis Despite advances in sequencing technologies, rare disease patients still struggle to receive a diagnosis. Only 30% of patients receive a diagnosis after whole genome sequencing, which is often used as a last resort […]