News

WGS – The Future of Consumer Genomics

20 February 2020

With the falling cost of genome sequencing, it comes as no surprise that there is a growing interest in expanding the availability and accessibility of genomics via consumer testing. Now, Nebula Genomics has entered the market by launching a comprehensive at-home test that analyses the whole genome for just $299.

19 February 2020

Does Your Microbiome Give Away Your Age?

A collaborative US and Chinese study has found that the microbial communities present on our skin and in our mouths can predict your age, within a margin of several years. Additionally, they found a loss of key bacterial species in older participants, suggesting a potential anti-aging target.

18 February 2020

Opinion Piece: Morally, Is Germline Genome Editing all that Different to IVF?

Helen C. O’Neill has explored how the global reaction to the birth of genome-edited twins in 2018 echoed the condemnation surrounding the first successful use of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) in 1978. Now regarded as a huge clinical success which has benefitted an estimated 16 million parents, at the time the development not only sparked moral outrage but led to political and legislative constraints.

14 February 2020

Snoring Insights from the UK Biobank’s Latest Study

Even on Valentine’s Day the snoring of a sleeping companion, can be a hard habit to excuse. And, while a UK Biobank analysis may not help to silence-the-snooze of your significant other, the insights published today are interesting, nonetheless. The observational and genetic study of 400,000 snoring and non-snoring participants using data from the UK […]

13 February 2020

Machine Learning Identifies Epigenetic Markers of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder, which has a 1% global lifetime risk. With the exact cause unknown, identifying biomarkers could be the key to unravelling the underlying mechanisms of this disease. Published in JAMA Psychiatry this week, researchers used whole-blood DNA methylation data and machine learning to identify a epigenetic signature for schizophrenia.

12 February 2020

Butler: Analysing Genomes in the Cloud

Ask Jeeves may be a thing of the past as there’s a new butler in town. Specifically, one to serve your genomic data analysis needs. This week scientists from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have unveiled a new computational tool to facilitate large-scale genomic analysis on the cloud. This, they say, will overcome stability […]

12 February 2020

Vaping and Cigarette Users Share Epigenetic Hallmark

The epigenetics of people who use exclusively use vape pens versus cigarettes has been examined for the first time. Key epigenetic modifications were identified that were shared between vapers and smokers that are a hallmark of lung cancer. Vaping which has been generally marketed as a less dangerous alternative to smoking, has become increasingly popular […]

11 February 2020

Shareable Science: The Genetics of Coronavirus

In early December, an outbreak of respiratory illness was reported in Wuhan, China. Scientists quickly determined the sickness was caused by a new virus from the coronavirus family. In an attempt to limit the spread of the virus, China has reacted with transportation lockdowns and public health advisories.

10 February 2020

Coronavirus Genome Now On UCSC Genome Browser

The biomolecular code of the deadly Wuhan pneumonia virus, the coronavirus, is now available to view on the UCSC Genome Browser. With nearly 41,000 cases and 910 deaths to date, the deadly virus has forced more than 50 million people to be quarantined by the Chinese government in an aim to stop the spread of the virus.

7 February 2020

OCD Drug Designed by Artificial Intelligence Set to Enter Clinical Trials

A new drug created with artificial intelligence (AI) to treat patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) will be entering human clinical trials this March – a first for AI. It has cut the drug development time from four and a half years to just 12 months, accelerating the time it typically takes to develop drugs for clinical trials.

6 February 2020

Telomere Maintenance Mutations and Cancer Cell Immortality

New research has identified mutations that could lead to the lengthening of telomeres, a hallmark of cancer cells and an important focus in developing targeted treatments. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center looked at cancer cells to find the ways some of them achieve immortality in a study as part of the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG).

6 February 2020

The Cancer Drug That Could Also Fight Obesity

A cancer-fighting compound has been found to also reduce fat in obese mice and could potentially help 93 million obese Americans fight their fat. Eric Prossnitz and his team at the University of New Mexico, USA discovered that the G-1 compound currently in clinical trials for breast cancer can also reduce fat and eliminate diabetes in mice.

5 February 2020

RNA Modification – A Viral Hideout

Scientists show how hMPV virus exploits RNA modification to prevent host differentiation of self and non-self RNA, thereby evading an innate immune response. This mechanism could serve as a hMPV vaccine target, and potentially more if found to be well-conserved.

5 February 2020

East Asian and European Genomic Differences Found in Lung Cancer

New research from institutions in Singapore and China has identified genetic differences that occur between lung adenocarcinomas in East Asians and Europeans. Published in Nature Genetics, the researchers found that lung adenocarcinomas had more stable genomes in East Asians than in Europeans, and a stronger difference in smokers compared to non-smokers.