News

21 Gene Variants May be Linked to Gender Dysphoria

5 February 2020

Gene variants that could play a role in the incongruence transgender individuals experience may have been found in the genes for oestrogen receptor pathways. Published in Nature, this study identified some of the first biological evidence that linked 21 gene variants in 19 genes with a possible role in sex-specific development during birth in an […]

31 January 2020

Our Festival of Genomics 2020 Review – As told by you!

We’ve just completed our 5th Annual Festival of Genomics, which was an incredible experience. Almost 2,000 people came through the doors to see 120 speakers, 50+ exhibitors, 5 theatres of talks and so much more. Thank you to all who attended and made this festival the success it was. We hope you all had a fantastic […]

24 January 2020

102 Genes Linked to Autism Found in Largest-Ever Study

The largest study on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to date has identified 102 genes involved in the disorder, including 37 new genes that had not been recognised before. Published in Cell, the findings help researchers better understand the causes of the disorder, and could possible help in developing new drug therapies for children with severe impairments.

23 January 2020

New Polymer & Protein Design Can Regrow Damaged Nerves

A cross-section image of the nerve conduit embedded in microspheres. Credit: N.B. Fadia et al., Science Translational Medicine (2019) Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have created a polymer nerve guide made out of biodegradable material filled with growth-promoting proteins that can regenerate long sections of damaged nerves. Published in Science Translational […]

22 January 2020

New Genetic Test Predicts Glaucoma-Related Blindness

Researchers at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and Flinders University, Australia have identified 107 genes associated with increased risk of developing glaucoma. The researchers also developed a genetic test to screen those who are at risk of developing the condition, in the hopes of intervening before symptoms of the disease, such as vision loss, occur.

22 January 2020

Blood Test That Can Predict Tuberculosis Before Symptoms Develop

A new blood test that could predict the onset of tuberculosis (TB) three to six months before people become sick has been discovered by researchers at University College London. The researchers identified gene expression signatures present in the blood of people with early, asymptomatic TB infection that could predict the disease before symptoms arise.

21 January 2020

Monitoring Breast Cancer with Magnetised Molecules

A new type of scan has been used to visualise regions of breast tumours that are active with magnetising molecules in research funded by Cancer Research UK. The work used carbon-13 hyperpolarised imaging to monitor breast cancer, allowing not only visualising the tumour as a whole, but details of its internal metabolic state as well.

21 January 2020

Non-Cancer Drugs Identified to Kill Cancer Cells

Scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have found that drugs used for inflammation, diabetes, alcoholism, and arthritis also have anti-cancer properties. Published in Nature Cancer, this is the first study to screen an entire collection of mostly non-cancer drugs to see if they can kill cancer cells.

20 January 2020

Exercise VS Caffeine: Which Helps Boost Memory The Most?

A new study carried out at Western’s Exercise and Health Psychology Laboratory in Canada has shown that exercise can improve attention and alertness even more so than caffeine. The team compared exercise and caffeine head-to-head in the first investigation of its kind, showing that both can be used to improve certain aspects of cognition.

20 January 2020

Soybean Oil Can Cause Genetic Changes in the Brain

New research from the University of California, Riverside has shown that America’s most widely consumed oil – Soybean oil – can affect neurological conditions such as anxiety, depression, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease. The work builds upon previous studies that have identified a number of health risks associated with the oil, such as obesity and diabetes.

17 January 2020

Increased Cancer Risk in Men due to Loss of Function of Y-Chromosome

New research has identified a possible reason why men are more susceptible to cancer than women. The work published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reports that the loss of function in certain genes of the sex-determining Y chromosome may play a role in this.

17 January 2020

New Archaeal Organism Found Gives Insights into Early Complex Life

A new discovery by a Japanese team has identified a type of microorganism called an Asgard archaeon, which could shed light on how early eukaryotic cells evolved. The project took 12 years after finding the cells in deep-sea mud. The findings of the closest Archaeal relative to eukaryotes cultures so far will allow further detailed cellular and metabolic investigation and find out more about the origins of complex life.

16 January 2020

Poor Quality Egg Cells are Threatened by Jumping Genes

Researchers at Carnegie Institution for Science, USA have discovered a mechanism in which the body tries to eliminate egg cells of the poorest quality. The findings indicate that this elimination during foetal development is related to a transposable element, or “jumping gene”, called LINE-1 that promotes the survival of eggs with more “jumping gene” activity.

16 January 2020

Six Loci Identified in Association with High Alcohol Intake

A team of international researchers have conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify genes responsible for high population-levels of alcohol consumption. They used genomic data from the UK Biobank and a US study to pinpoint the genes responsible, identifying six loci that could be associated with alcohol use disorder (AUD).