News

Changes in Gut Microbiota Implicated in Colorectal Cancer

21 November 2019

Gut microbiota has wide reaching effects on health and disease. A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS, has demonstrated that gut imbalance promotes the onset of colorectal cancer, going on to invent a blood test to identify the epigenetic signatures.

21 November 2019

New Alzheimer’s Risk Variant Identified

Alzheimer’s Disease is a devastating neurological condition affecting 24 million people worldwide. It is the most frequent form of dementia with a heritable risk that is not wholly understood. A study published in the Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology has identified a new risk gene that was previously overlooked.

20 November 2019

SMAUG – A Helpful Prion?

Prions are viewed as disastrous for cells; unbreakable, infectious, clumps of protein that self-propagate leading to toxic gain or loss of function. However, researchers from Stanford University have discovered a new role for prions in transmitting epigenetic information and promoting proliferation.

20 November 2019

CRISPR Based Therapy Shows Promise for Blood Disorders

The first gene editing clinical trial sponsored by US companies has released data to STAT news showing promising results using a CRISPR based therapy. Sickle cell anaemia and beta thalassemia patients required no further treatments after one appointment.

19 November 2019

Lack of Diversity Harms Schizophrenia Studies

Schizophrenia is one of the most common serious mental health conditions, with a 1% global lifetime risk. By gathering data from a non-European population, a study published in Nature Genetics has discovered that there are differences in genetic associations with schizophrenia that differ across ancestries.

18 November 2019

The New Way to Age Your Dog (and People)

Scientists are looking for models of ageing to help determine the causes of many age-related diseases. By using Labradors, the researchers from the University of California have demonstrated a new model for ageing that can be applied to other mammalian species and provide insights into our own genome.

15 November 2019

Research Suggests New Approach to Combat Antimicrobial Resistant Malaria

The rise of antimicrobial resistant malaria, especially across Asia, has caused great concern and a hunt for new drugs and treatment. A collaborative group across Europe have systematically deleted genes from Plasmodium berghei and uncovered 7 metabolic pathways crucial for the life cycle of the parasite.

15 November 2019

Jennifer Doudna Comments on CRISPRs Unwanted Anniversary

One year on from the birth of world’s first CRISPR-edited babies in China, Jennifer Doudna, writes in Science what this and the ensuing controversy has meant for the field and society’s perception of the technology, as well as to outline what should be done next.

14 November 2019

Concern over New Cases of Pneumonic Plague in China

Two confirmed cases this week of Pneumonic plague in China have local and international health agencies on high alert. A middle-aged couple are being treated in Beijing for the most severe form of the infection that has afflicted humanity since the Bronze Age.  The bacterium Yersinia pestis can cause three distinct disease manifestations dependent on the […]

11 November 2019

New CRISPR-Cas9 Protein can Increase Gene Editing Efficiency

A new version of the CRISPR-Cas9 protein has been developed that can increase the targeting efficiency of the gene editing process. 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 to have hindered its introduction into gene-therapy treatments […]

8 November 2019

Oxygen Starved Cancer Cells have Survival Advantage

Primary tumour cells that have been starved of oxygen have been shown to have a survival advantage when spreading to different parts of the body to form new tumours. Over 90% of solid tumours are oxygen deprived. Known as hypoxia, this is associated with poorer prognosis for patients. This was thought to be due to […]