Genetics

Genomic Study Shows How Crops Will Cope with Climate Change

A 28 year-long genomics study revealed how crops will respond to the rising temperatures associated with climate change. Over the study, period the temperature in Israel, where the study was conducted, increased by 2°C, even higher than the 1.5°C global temperature increase limit agreed in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Food scarcity will be one […]

Working the Night Shift Could Harm Gut Health

Working night shifts could impair immune system functionality and make people more susceptible to gut based infections, new research shows. The Rhythm of the Night The body runs like clockwork. When you eat, when you sleep and when you get up is all controlled by the body’s internal circadian rhythm aka the body clock. The […]

Scottish Genetic Population Analysis Reflects Medieval Kingdoms

A genetic population study across Scotland has been found to reflect the boundaries of the medieval kingdoms. Population studies can give a window into human history as migrations, invasions and hardships all leave a genetic signature. For example, Britain was first invaded by the Vikings in AD 793. Interbreeding between the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons […]

Cannabis Usage in Fathers Can Cause Inheritable Genetic Changes

Changing Attitudes to Cannabis Cannabis is now legalised for recreational use in 11 US states and attitudes around its risk are changing rapidly. Between 2002 and 2014, the percentage of adults in the US who perceived cannabis use as risky declined from 50% to 33%. However, as cannabis usage becomes more widespread the health risks […]

HDRUK to Launch Seven New Data Research Hubs

Health Data Research UK (HDRUK) is launching pioneering data research centres to enable cutting-edge research and innovation to benefit UK patients  Seven new data hubs to be rolled out across the UK to speed up research for new medicines, treatments, and technologies that support quicker diagnoses and save lives  The hubs will use the latest […]

Single-Sex Shrimp: A Sustainable Food Source Protected from Disease

In a study last week researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have highlighted how the development of mono-sex prawns could increase the aquaculture yield whilst reducing the spread of the second most devasting parasitic disease: schistosomiasis. Additionally, in a triple whammy the sterility of a single-sex population negates the ecological risk of the crustacean […]

Queering the Genome – Are We Ready?

It has been less than a week since the landmark study into the genetics of same-sex sexual behaviour first broke and sparked debate across the twitterverse. There has been much disagreement amongst the scientific and LGBTQ+ communities alike, regarding whether this research should have been conducted at all. Conversely, many have praised the study for […]

Gene That Promotes Natural Short Sleep Identified

The gene that controls how much sleep a person needs to feel fully rested has been identified by researchers. Back in 2009 the researchers led by Ying-Hui Fu, PhD, discovered that those with the a mutation in their DEC2 gene averaged 6.25 hours sleep per night, compared to 8.06 hours in those without the mutation. […]

Advances in Improving HDR Efficiency for CRISPR Experiments

Despite vast progress in leveraging the CRISPR-Cas9 system for genome manipulation, bottlenecks still remain. Overcoming these bottlenecks is critical to ensure the efficacy of this technology in a clinical context. Several engineering approaches involve inducing a double -stranded break (DSB) to introduce new mutations, which are then repaired by the endogenous cellular machinery. The two […]

Environmental Pollution Linked to Psychiatric Disorders

Higher levels of environmental pollution correlate with higher incidences of a range of mental disorders, a new study has identified. The researchers looked at populations in both the US and Denmark. In the US study, the levels of environmental pollution were determined from air, water and land quality measurements, in addition to population density and […]

Telomere Gene Holds Key to Pluripotency

A gene that codes for a telomere protein is the key to regulating stem cell pluripotency, new research shows. Pluripotent stem cells have the ability to differentiate into any type of specialised cell in the body. They hold huge potential for a range of regenerative medical treatments. Scientists have previously struggled to understand the genetic […]

Improved Methods for CRISPR Homology-Directed Repair Using Alt-R HDR Enhancer and ssDNA Donors with Optimized Design

CRISPR-Cas proteins introduce double-stranded breaks (DSBs) at targeted genomic loci. These are repaired by endogenous cellular pathways such as non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homology-directed repair (HDR). Providing a ssDNA template during repair allows researchers to introduce a desired mutation precisely, by utilizing the HDR pathway. However, rates of HDR are often low compared to […]

Sticky DNA Traps Cause Gallstone Formation

Sticky DNA traps produced by immune cells enable gallstones to stick together and grow, new research has revealed. Gallstones are stones that form in the gall bladder when the fats and minerals found in bile harden into a crystalline structure. Gallstones can cause inflammation and infections, depending on their size. Researchers investigated gallstones in patients […]

Digital DNA: Genetic Counselling – An Interview with Jill Davies

The Digital DNA series explores the role of large-scale genetic testing in science, industry and society. We aim to understand both the benefits and risks of this emerging technology and see what the future may hold. We talked to Jill Davies, CEO of GeneMatters. The company provides genetic counselling to patients through a telehealth platform […]