2 December 2019

New Zealand’s New $5m “Gene Bank”

The concept of precision medicine has really taken hold in recent years. However, the majority of current studies have used European and US datasets to identify how different diseases can respond to different treatments.

2 December 2019

Brain Imaging Reveals Networks Linked to Increased Suicide Risk

Brain networks associated with suicide have been identified by examining brain images from the past two decades. The study published in Molecular Psychiatry found changes in the prefrontal cortex were important risk factors in suicidal thoughts and behaviours. 800,000 people die globally by suicide every year – one every 40 seconds. It is the second […]

29 November 2019

Stalled Cells Cause Child Brain Cancer

  Single-cell transcriptomes have been used to identify tumour cells and their origins in paediatric brain cancers, providing a blueprint for one of the main zones where childhood cancers develop. The study published in Nature Genetics gathered single-cell transcriptomes from over 65,000 cells that resulted in gene-expression profiles. After large scale data analysis, 191 distinct […]

28 November 2019

Autism and ADHD Have Shared Genetic Origins

Childhood neurodevelopmental disorders have now been shown to possess shared genetic roots. A study published in Nature Neuroscience has identified a new risk variant in the MAP1A gene for autism and ADHD.

27 November 2019

Micro RNAs may be Key for MS Treatment

Oral administration of a MicroRNA molecules harvested from the faeces of autoimmune-diseased mice, may hold potential for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) treatment in humans.

26 November 2019

Oxford Nanopore Comments on Illumina-Pacific Biosciences Merger

The ongoing debate over the Illumina-Pacific Biosciences merger has come to a head with their competitor Oxford Nanopore rejecting the revised remedies. In documents filed with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and published online Oxford Nanopore comments on Illumina’s offer and what could be done to restore the market balance.

26 November 2019

Left or Right? Look to Your Genes

The largest genome wide association study (GWAS) to date on handedness has identified nearly 50 new variants and provided interesting insights into disease predispositions including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

25 November 2019

New Mars Rover to Look for Fossilised Alien Life

An exploratory project to find fossil microbes on the Red Planet has been proposed between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). The possibility of finding alien life has long been an alluring concept for many and this new scheme intends to bring Martian soil to Earth for intensive study.

21 November 2019

Changes in Gut Microbiota Implicated in Colorectal Cancer

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.