Genetics

CRUK and AstraZeneca to Launch New Genomics Centre in UK

AstraZeneca and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) have announced that they will work together to open a new research centre in the UK, applying CRISPR and other functional genomics technologies to develop new cancer drugs. Specifically, the centre will study how genes and proteins interact with each other in cancer cells, and create disease models using genome-altering technologies based on this.

SeraCare Acquired by LGC

Manufacturer of quality control materials SeraCare Life Sciences has been acquired by LGC, an international life sciences measurement and testing company, strengthening its position in the clinical quality control tools market.

UCB to Invest £1 Billion in UK R&D

Multinational biopharmaceutical company UCB has agreed to invest £1 billion in UK research and development (R&D), the government has announced in its latest Life Sciences Sector Deal. In the deal, £75 million will be invested into the development of new AI driven diagnostic tests while £50 million will be invested in digital pathology programmes and £37.5 million into regional digital innovation hubs.

ClinGen Gets FDA Recognition

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced ClinGen as the first FDA-designated public genetic variants repository this week.

Blocking One Gene Could Cure Obesity

Scientists in South Australia have announced in the EMBO Reports journal that they may have found a single gene which can be blocked to promote weight loss without the need for diets or gym time.

Scientists Create Ten-Minute Universal Test for Cancer

A universal test which can detect traces of any cancer in a patient’s bloodstream in ten minutes has been developed by scientists from the University of Queensland. As it stands the test has a sensitivity of 90%, so is able to detect 90 in 100 cases of cancer.

WHO to Create Gene Editing Expert Panel

The World Health Organization is establishing an expert panel to set guidelines and standards on the ethical and safety issues of gene editing, the body has announced. This follows the recent revelation that a scientist in China claimed he had edited the genes of twin babies to make them HIV resistant.

Genetic Causes of Neurodegeneration Determined by Scientists

Certain genetic processes of neurodegeneration, as seen in dementia, have been identified by a research team led by UCLA scientists. Two major groups of genes which create over-productions of the tau protein, which is integral to loss of neurons seen in major dementia forms, were found using mouse models of dementia, although the researchers performed additional experiments which determined the same processes occur in human brains.

New Study Details CRISPR to Molecular Level

A new study by the the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research details how CRISPR-Cas12a works, right down to the molecular level. This should make it possible to fine-tune the process to achieve better results.

Global Study Finds First Genetic Risk Variants of ADHD

There is a large genetic component to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a study published recently in Nature Genetics has confirmed. The study assessed 20,183 individuals diagnosed with ADHD and 35,191 controls, finding variants in 12 independent loci which all contribute to ADHD.

Mitochondrial DNA Can be Inherited from Fathers

Despite what was previously thought, some mitochondrial DNA can be inherited from fathers as well as mothers, scientists have found. A study, published recently in PNAS, began when the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre tested a child showing signs of fatigue and muscle pain to see if he had a mitochondrial disorder.