Research

“Junk DNA”: The New Place to Look for Cancer Risk

New research published in the British Journal of Cancer has identified a link between the so-called “junk DNA” and the risk of developing cancer. Junk DNA refers to regions of DNA that don’t code for proteins but are thought to play in a role in gene expression regulation

Epigenetics Found to Play a Role in Childhood Kidney Cancer

Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute uncovered a possible pre-cancerous signature for Wilms’ tumour, a form of kidney cancer mainly affecting children under five years old. Published in Science, the research was the first to compare Wilms’ tumour tissue and healthy kidney tissue to identify any genetic changes that could possibly be predictive of disease progression.

Can Hair Dye cause Breast Cancer?

An intriguing (unconventional) study published by the International Journal of Cancer looked at the breast cancer risk in relation to the use of hair dyes and chemical straighteners, after results of previous studies remain inconclusive.

New Evidence for the Theory of Human Self-Domestication

A new research paper has investigated the link between the BAZ1B gene and self-domestication of humans. The same gene has been found to control much of human facial development and be involved in the domestication of dogs and cats, possibly suggesting that humans are self-domesticated.

Gene Expression Affected by African Ancestry

A new study by Northwestern Medicine has become the first to compare gene expression levels in African American populations by studying the levels of mRNA expressed in the liver. Previous studies have compared only African and European individuals separately and this study aimed to address the “grey” area of mixed ethnicities.

New Zealand’s New $5m “Gene Bank”

The concept of precision medicine has really taken hold in recent years. However, the majority of current studies have used European and US datasets to identify how different diseases can respond to different treatments.

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.

New Mars Rover to Look for Fossilised Alien Life

An exploratory project to find fossil microbes on the Red Planet has been proposed between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). The possibility of finding alien life has long been an alluring concept for many and this new scheme intends to bring Martian soil to Earth for intensive study.

Suicidal Mitochondria Could be the Cause of Multiple Neurogenerative Diseases

Self-destructing mitochondria could be the initiation step for a range of neurogenerative diseases, new research shows. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been observed in the early stages of ALS, a neurogenerative disease that affects voluntary muscle movement. The symptoms of ALS are caused by the disintegration of the upper motor neurons of the brain, which is often […]

Research Highlights from the Genomics England Conference

We earlier highlighted the most important takeaways from the Genomics England Research Conference, including how the UK will work to build on its status as a world leader in genomics. We also wanted to put a spotlight on the exciting research that is using the data from the 100,000 Genomes Project. Here are Front Line […]

Registration for the Festival of Genomics 2020 Now Open

Returning for its 5th consecutive year, the 2020 Festival promises to be a unique experience, a crossroads for the entire genomics ecosystem to discover, meet, learn, have fun and celebrate. It is the largest genomics event in the UK and the fastest growing genomics event in the world. The Festival delivers incredible talks, speakers, cutting-edge content, inspirational topics, […]

How diversity in genetic research can save lives

Our guest contributor Dr Neil Lamb continues his fortnighty Shareable Science Blog. 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.  In many ways, genetics boils down to a study of diversity. Humans share more […]