Cambridge and London researchers have created a database of DNA mutation “fingerprints” which can be used to determine the environmental factors contributing to a patient’s tumour. The study, published in Cell journal, can determine 41 different environmental agents linked to cancer, including the traces left in lung tumours by chemicals linked particularly to tobacco smoke.
Compression software company Petagene has announced the addition of “Petagene Protect” to its suite of genomic data projects, giving users the ability to encrypt and manage access to genomic data, as well as ensuring compliance with all relevant regulations.
SOPHiA GENETICS’ Solid Tumor Solution molecular diagnostic application has received CE-IVD designation. The application detects and characterises all types of genomic alteration in 42 clinically-relevant genes related to solid tumours across a number of cancer types.
The rules that cells use to determine which genes they must activate and under what conditions have been further uncovered by scientists at New York University. The findings develop the understanding around how gene variants affect phenotypic traits.
A team from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Broad Institute have used CRISPR-Cas9 to identify key genes required for cancer survival. Over 18,000 genes from 30 different cancer types were screened, a computational framework then developed to prioritise the 600 most promising drug development targets.
Scientists at the University of California San Diego have created a new version of a gene drive which could lead to spreading specific, favourably genetic variants through a population. This “allelic drive” uses a guide RNA to direct CRISPR to cut undesired gene variants and replace them with better versions of the gene.
An international team of scientists has developed a new gene editing tool which goes beyond the usual mechanisms of CRISPR, acting instead as a “shredder” which can delete large stretches of DNA with programmable targeting. The technology was also shown to work in human cells for the first time.
Certain changes in immune cells within cancerous tumours which reflect how tumours behave in common cancers could see better treatments created in the future. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, also discovered a set of genes expressed at high levels in breast cancer tumours, and often linked to more aggressive types of cancer.
Sano Genetics, a Cambridge-based research start-up, has secured £500,000 in seed funding for its platform which powers research into common disorders like depression and diabetes, as well as rare ones such as muscular dystrophy.
Two separate studies have uncovered insights into why checkpoint-inhibiting immune-oncology (IO) drugs only work for a minority of patients, even when combined with other treatments. The first study uncovered a resistance mechanism within the gut microbiome, while the other relates to cancer cell-produced vesicles.
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.