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.

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 a mutation in their DEC2 gene averaged 6.25 hours sleep per night, compared to 8.06 hours in those without the mutation. 10 […]

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 […]

New Technique to Select Offspring Gender

A reversible chemical technique can separate sperm carrying X chromosomes from sperm carrying Y chromosomes to select the offspring sex of mice. Cells from male mammals contain both an X and Y chromosome. However, sperm cells contain either an X or Y chromosome. As the female egg cell always contains an X chromosome, sperm that […]

New Drug Could Speed up Blood Cell Recovery after Chemotherapy

A drug that speeds up the regeneration of both mouse and human blood stem cells after radiation exposure could be used to successfully mitigate the side-effects of chemotherapy. Although radiation chemotherapy can be an effective cancer treatment, as it preferentially targets cancer cells over normal body cells, it can cause long lasting side-effects in patients. […]

Keto Diet Supresses Cancer Growth in Mice

Mice fed on a keto diet alongside an anti-diabetic drug were found to have slower progression rates of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) lung tumours. The keto diet, currently widely popular, minimises sugar and carbohydrate intake. SCC is a type of cancer formed by the squamous cells that make up the epithelial layer of organs, including […]

Cyber Organoids Let Scientists Observe Cell Development

Scientists have successfully grown a ‘cyber organoid,’ a simplified organ formed from stem cells with integrated electrochemical sensors to observe its development. Organs are formed by the self-assembly of stem cells into complex 3D structures. However, due to the difficulty of monitoring this process there are still significant gaps in scientists’ understanding. Electrochemical sensors have […]

World Metastasis Summit 2019 Launch

When cancer cells break off from their initial tumour they can spread throughout the body and invade other organs to form new tumours, in a process known as metastasis. Metastatic tumours cause patients to develop stage IV or advanced cancer and are responsible for over 90% of deaths in cancer patients. In the past, cancer […]