Amazon has announced that new software for its Alexa virtual assistant will allow healthcare companies to build tools which can safely send private information to patients. The announcement was accompanied by the launch of six voice programs created by health companies including Boston Children’s Hospital and digital health company Livongo.
A study conducted by Northwestern University researchers has found that long-term poverty can be “embedded” across the genome. Lower socioeconomic status was found to be associated with levels of DNA methylation, a key epigenetic mark that can influence expression, across more than 1,500 genes.
An FDA-approved drug to treat severe asthma also drastically improves the health of those individuals with hypereosinophilic syndromes (HES), rare types of chronic immune disorders. A larger placebo-controlled trial of the drug, benralizumab, will now be undertaken to confirm the results.
A new large-scale study of depression, analysing more than 620,000 individuals, has found that there is no single gene for the disorder, rewriting years of hypotheses and striking a blow to clinical agencies who hoped to create diagnostic tools and treatments for the faulty genes.
Scientists have identified the genes in woman which for sixty years made her virtually immune to pain and anxiety. Two mutations, one common and one not, were responsible for the condition of the woman, resulting also in her wounds healing abnormally quickly.
AstraZeneca has signed a $6.9 billion deal with Daiichi Sankyo for a single antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), trastuzumab deruxtecan.
University of Alberta researchers have discovered an experimental combination drug therapy which dramatically shrinks tumours and prevents metastasis in mice, and could act as a new cancer therapy in the future.
A collaboration between Viapath, NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre has created the world’s first nanopore-based genetic sequencing test for Huntington’s disease, now available at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals. If successful, the test could cut waiting time for complicated Huntington’s cases, and could have big ramifications for other disorders in the future.
Heating solid tumours during CAR-T cell therapy could increase change of success, researchers from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have found. Combining a heating technique called photothermal ablation with the infusion of CAR-T cells suppressed melanoma tumor growth for up to 20 days in mice.
Harvard College researchers have announced that more than 13,000 genetic alterations have been made to a single cell using CRISPR technology. This work is designed to edit genomes at a much larger scale than currently possible.
Oncology and precision medicine company Strata Oncology has announced the launch of its expanded StrataNGS test 3.0 for patients with advanced cancer. The test analyses 500 genes for three particular immunotherapy biomarkers, microsatellite instability (MSI), tumor mutational burden (TMB) and PD-L1, to better inform use of precision treatments.
Pharma giant Biogen and its Japanese partner Eisai have made the decision to halt two phase 3 trials of aducanumab, a drug created to slow Alzheimer’s by targeting brain-destroying beta-amyloid fragments. An independent monitoring committee decided that the drug was unlikely to benefit patients compared with a placebo.
Microsoft has created the first ever “DNA drive”, a program which can encode digital information into DNA and vice versa. The prototype managed to store and hold only the word “hello”, taking 21 hours to complete the process due to the slow chemical reactions which writing DNA involves.
For the first time, CRISPR-Cas9 has been combined with electronic graphene transistors to create a new handheld device which can detect specific mutations in the genome within minutes. The device can be used to quickly diagnose genetic disorders and diseases or determine the accuracy of gene-editing techniques.
Scientists from the University of California have announced a possible alternative option to electronic eye implants for those who have lost their sight: gene therapy. Virus-delivered genes for green opsin gave blind mice sight enough to determine patterns on an iPad, they found, with the therapy possibly ready for clinical trials in three years’ time.