Policy

Genomic data can have a significant effect on other areas of society. Insurance premiums, familial impact, identification. As we enter the genomic era, policy will need to reflect these new considerations.

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 […]

Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria Found Throughout London

Bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotic drugs have been found throughout London, including on the underground and in hospitals, new research shows. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a serious public health issue, which make the treatment of many infections difficult. Bacteria can acquire resistance either through the selection pressure of antibiotics, or from genetic transfer between cells. […]

Digital DNA: How DNA Testing is Being Used to Cheat the System

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. When Ralph Taylor registered his new business, he attempted to declare it as a disadvantaged business enterprise. Businesses headed […]

WHO Releases Statement Condemning Further Germline Genome Editing

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a statement calling for a stop to germline editing in humans. This is in light of recent controversial experiments in the field which emphasized patient safety concerns. Germline editing refers to the genome editing of reproductive cells. These changes are inheritable, and the technology has the potential to […]

UK Government Announces Genomics Policies

As it is announced that Boris Johnson will be the next UK Prime Minister, the UK government has released their genomic policies for the 2020s. The policies aim to ‘build on [the Uk’s] position as a world leader in genomics.’ From 2023-2034 the NHS aims to analyse five million genomes and fully sequence one million […]

Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads Across Asia

A genomics study has revealed that a strain of malaria resistant to both drugs used for treatment has spread rapidly across Asia.  Malaria causes approximately a million deaths worldwide in each year and is a serious public health issue, particularly in Asia. The widely used anti-malarial drugs dihydroartemisinin and piperaquine have been relatively effective treatments […]

False Genetic Testing Results Condemned by Doctors

The inaccuracy of a genetic test that gave false positives to patients has resulted in doctors calling for a crackdown on genetic testing. If a woman’s BCRA gene is faulty,  her risk of breast and ovarian cancer is much higher than average. People with a family history of these cancers are often tested to identify […]

Changes to Genetic Risk Factors Not Always Reported to Patients

Patients are not being informed about changes to their genetic risk factors for cancer, a new study shows. If an individual has a family history of a type of cancer, they can get a genetic test to identify their own cancer risk. Identifying a genetic risk means that person can get regular check-ups and be […]

France To Stop Funding Homeopathy Medication

The French Healthcare Minister has announced that the government will stop the funding of homeopathic remedies by 2021. It is estimated that the policy will save €127 million ($142.30 million). Homeopathy is an alternative medicine practice based on the philosophy that ‘like cures like.’ For example, if an ill person is displaying certain symptoms then […]

Boys in England to be Offered HPV Vaccine

From September 2019 boys in England will be offered the HPV vaccine free on the NHS to reduce the spread of HPV related cancers. England will join Scotland and Australia in making the vaccine available to both genders to extend its successful immunisation programme. Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes the majority of cervical cancers cases in […]

Genomic Innovations Will Bring Increased Legal Action

Questions around legality, protecting privacy and ensuring quality of data in DNA sequencing all need answering, a symposium recently held at the University of Minnesota has announced. LawSeq, a $2 million project looking to solve the issue of privacy and legality in sequencing, is exploring how to ensure the legal world catches up with current science.

Festival of Genomics 2019 – The State of Genomics Today

The introduction of multi-omic research, the advancement of AI and machine learning to improve nearly every aspect of sequencing and data analysis, are just some of the big changes that will only become more prevalent in the future. We spoke to Angela Douglas MBE, Scientific Director of Genetics Laboratories at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, for her opinions on the changing nature of genomics and the trends to watch out for.

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.