News

Huntington’s Therapy Found in Ancient Worms

9 December 2019

A highly conserved mechanism in worms and humans has been discovered by researchers at Monash University that could provide a novel therapeutic approach for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s.

9 December 2019

Genetic Cause of a Rare Type of Epilepsy Found

The cause of a rare type of familial epilepsy has been linked to two new gene mutations, as discovered by researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Published back-to-back in Nature Communications, Dr Mark Bennett, Dr Haloom Rafehi and Professor Melanie Bahlo from the Institute made this ground-breaking discovery as part of an international consortium.

6 December 2019

“Junk DNA”: The New Place to Look for Cancer Risk

New research published in the British Journal of Cancer has identified a link between the so-called “junk DNA” and the risk of developing cancer. Junk DNA refers to regions of DNA that don’t code for proteins but are thought to play in a role in gene expression regulation

6 December 2019

Epigenetics Found to Play a Role in Childhood Kidney Cancer

Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute uncovered a possible pre-cancerous signature for Wilms’ tumour, a form of kidney cancer mainly affecting children under five years old. Published in Science, the research was the first to compare Wilms’ tumour tissue and healthy kidney tissue to identify any genetic changes that could possibly be predictive of disease progression.

5 December 2019

Can Hair Dye cause Breast Cancer?

An intriguing (unconventional) study published by the International Journal of Cancer looked at the breast cancer risk in relation to the use of hair dyes and chemical straighteners, after results of previous studies remain inconclusive.

5 December 2019

Interview with Rory Collins, UK Biobank

Rory Collins, Principal Investigator and Chief Executive of UK Biobank leads this landmark project. We talk to him about some of the research outcomes from UK Biobank, and why he’s excited to be speaking at the Festival of Genomics this January.

5 December 2019

New Evidence for the Theory of Human Self-Domestication

A new research paper has investigated the link between the BAZ1B gene and self-domestication of humans. The same gene has been found to control much of human facial development and be involved in the domestication of dogs and cats, possibly suggesting that humans are self-domesticated.

4 December 2019

China’s first Gene-Edited Babies May Not Have Been Successful After All

In late 2018, the world was shocked by the news of the birth of the first CRISPR gene edited twin babies. Chinese biophysicist He Jiankui carried out an experiment to create babies with a natural resistance to HIV by editing the CCR5 gene, known to play a role in the immune response.

4 December 2019

Gene Expression Affected by African Ancestry

A new study by Northwestern Medicine has become the first to compare gene expression levels in African American populations by studying the levels of mRNA expressed in the liver. Previous studies have compared only African and European individuals separately and this study aimed to address the “grey” area of mixed ethnicities.

3 December 2019

TEDDY Identifies Type 1 Diabetes Risk Factor

The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young or TEDDY is the largest study of its kind measuring new-borns with an increased risk of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).  The study published in Nature Medicine has uncovered an association between a genetic variant of a pancreatic cell surface-receptor and long-term viral infections.

3 December 2019

The New Genomics “Hubble Space Telescope”

Researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain have developed a new type of genomics technology that can be used to investigate how species are related to each other, with a possibility of creating new drugs, foods, and materials at a much larger scale than ever before.

3 December 2019

How Much Sleep do you Need? The Answer is (partly) in Your DNA

A set of research papers suggests that some people need less sleep than others based on a few genetic changes. The papers from the neurology team at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) identified three genes that researchers can link to needing less sleep