Healthcare

Genomics will change what patients expect from their provider, as well as change how physicians treat them. Before this happens, education on both sides is needed. This month we look at some of the big talking points.

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 […]

Babies Born by Caesarean have Different Microbiomes

Babies born by caesarean section have different gut bacteria, or microbiome, compositions to babies born vaginally, new research shows. The Microbiome is Essential to Childhood Health The gut microbiome is the ecosystem of bacteria resident in our gut. Recent research has only scratched the surface on uncovering the instrumental role the microbiome plays in our […]

Bacteria Can Become Resistant Even Without Antibiotic Use

Governments around the world are trying to heavily restrict antibiotic use in the hope that this will prevent the development of resistance which renders many medical treatments useless. However, new research demonstrates that bacterial resistance can spread regardless. Darwin’s theory of evolution tells us that if the selection pressure of antibiotics is applied to a […]

Insulin Delivery Drug Could Treat Deadly Brain Cancer

An existing drug used to improve insulin delivery could also be used to treat an aggressive and deadly brain tumour, known as glioblastoma. Glioblastoma (GBM) is a fast-growing tumour that spreads in a web like fashion to infiltrate multiple areas of the brain. As it is not a compact tumour, it is extremely difficult to […]

Outbreak Proximity Sways Anti-Vaxxers

There has been a recent rise in measles outbreaks worldwide, despite it being an entirely preventable disease with an effective vaccination. Countries including the UK and Greece were recently stripped of their measles free status by the World Health Organisation for their failure to contain the outbreaks. The growing suspicion around the safety of vaccines […]

Shareable Science: The Genetics of the Impossible Burger

We are delighted to introduce our new guest contributor Dr Neil Lamb, who’s Shareable Science blog will be a fortnightly feature on the website. Neil is the Vice President for Educational Outreach at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and Shareable Science will explore how genetics is relevant to people in their everyday lives.  The Impossible […]

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. […]

Further 3 Countries in Europe Lose Measles Free Status

Following the loss of the UK’s measles free status, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stripped another 3 European countries of their eradication status. Albania, the Czech Republic and Greece have joined the UK in no longer being considered measles free. Kate O’Brien of the WHO’s Immunization Department said that the 4 countries were stripped […]

E-Cigarettes Trigger Same Harmful Lung Changes Seen in Smokers

Although vaping is assumed to be safer than smoking cigarettes, new research has revealed that it triggers the same molecular changes that cause emphysema in cigarette smokers. Vaping has been thought to be less dangerous than smoking because it does not contain many of the carcinogenic chemicals found in cigarette tobacco. However, new evidence suggests […]

Brown Fat May Help Protect Against Obesity and Diabetes

Having sufficient brown fat could help protect against obesity and diabetes, new research shows. Brown fat acts as an energy store in the body, but easily releases the energy to generate heat when exposed to cool temperatures. Recent research has revealed that brown fat can also remove branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) from the blood. […]

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 […]

Alzheimer’s Drug Reverses Harmful Effects of Teenage Drinking in Rats

An Alzheimer’s drug that is used to slow cognitive decline can reverse the brain damage caused by teenage drinking, shows a new rat-based study. Adolescent brains are more susceptible to alcohol damage than adult brains. Excessive teenage drinking reduces the formation of neurons in the hippocampus which impairs learning and memory. The damage can also […]

WHO Strips UK of Measles Free Status

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stripped the United Kingdom of its measles free status following an increase in disease cases and falling vaccination rates. The UK recorded 913 cases of measles between 1 January and 31 October 2018, compared to 259 cases in 2017. This is despite measles being an entirely preventable disease. Measles […]

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 […]