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.

Asthma Could be Linked to Your Airway Microbiome

Microbes are well known to form entire communities in our guts – or microbiomes, but less is known about the communities we have in our lungs. Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis investigated the correlation between microbial colonisation in the upper airway and the severity of asthma symptoms

Shorter Telomeres & Obesity Association Found in Children

A study published in Scientific Reports examined nearly 1,400 mother-child pairs from a multi-centre European birth cohort and found that childhood obesity was associated with shorter telomeres. Telomere length is a useful biomarker of biological ageing, as shorter telomeres are associated with a wide range of diseases. These encompass cancer, premature ageing, and obesity.

Blinatumomab – Improving Outcomes for Children with Relapsed Leukaemia

The immunotherapy drug Blinatumomab has shown to be an effective treatment for children and young adults with relapsed B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in a clinical trial led by the Children’s Oncology Group, part of the National Cancer Institute USA, and presented at the annual meeting at the American Society of Haematology.

Treating Autism and Tourette’s with Ketamine: A Potential Treatment?

Researchers at Lancaster University have been the first to discover a genetic alteration that increases the risk of developing Autism Spectrum Disorder and Tourette Syndrome, as published in the journal Cerebral Cortex. Their findings suggest that ketamine, or related drugs, may be a useful treatment for both disorders.

Huntington’s Therapy Found in Ancient Worms

A highly conserved mechanism in worms and humans has been discovered by researchers at Monash University that could provide a novel therapeutic approach for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s.

TEDDY Identifies Type 1 Diabetes Risk Factor

The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young or TEDDY is the largest study of its kind measuring new-borns with an increased risk of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).  The study published in Nature Medicine has uncovered an association between a genetic variant of a pancreatic cell surface-receptor and long-term viral infections.

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 […]

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.

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.

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.

Lack of Diversity Harms Schizophrenia Studies

Schizophrenia is one of the most common serious mental health conditions, with a 1% global lifetime risk. By gathering data from a non-European population, a study published in Nature Genetics has discovered that there are differences in genetic associations with schizophrenia that differ across ancestries.