Research

Protist Genome Project Launched by Chinese Scientists

A program to analyse the diverse genome of 10,000 protists, some of which can cause diseases such as malaria and sleeping sickness, has been launched by six Chinese research institutions to establish a large-scale database of protists genetic resources.

A New Way to Predict the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers have investigated the use of PET imaging to see whether beta-amyloid and tau can predict subsequent brain atrophy in Alzheimer’s disease. Published in Science Translational Medicine, the findings showed that tau tangles could be used to predict how much shrinkage will occur and where, which was particularly strong in younger patients.

He Jiankui Sentenced to Three Years in Prison & a Third CRISPR Baby Confirmed

Earlier this week, He Jiankui, the scientist behind the world’s first gene-edited twin babies, was sentenced to three years in prison and fined three million yuan (£327,000) for “illegal medical practice”. In late 2018, He Jiankui along with his team carried out CRISPR gene editing on twin girls, dubbed Lulu and Nana, to provide immunity against HIV.

Liver Fat Leaks Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

Researchers at Newcastle University, UK have been the first to confirm that fat over-spills from the liver into the pancreas can trigger Type 2 diabetes. Published in Cell Metabolism, the researchers observed the link between excess fat within both the liver and pancreas and the development of Type 2 diabetes, and how this condition can be reversed.

Detecting Leukaemia with Artificial Intelligence

Researchers at the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn have investigated the use of artificial intelligence to detect one of the most common forms of blood cancer – acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) – with high reliability. Published in iScience, the technique was used to analyse the expression of certain genes in cells of the blood.

Predicting Breast Cancer Recurrence After 10-Years with MRI Scans

Researchers at Penn Medicine have developed an imaging technique that can provide a non-invasive characterisation of tumour heterogeneity. They used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and radiomics – an emerging field of medicine that uses algorithms to extract large amounts of features from medical images

The New Genetic Risk Score for Ischaemic Stroke

Scientists have developed a new genetic risk score that is similarly or more predictive than commonly known risk factors for stroke. They developed this meta-scoring approach model to identify individuals at a 3-fold increased risk of developing ischaemic stroke – one of the leading causes of disability and death world-wide

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

Peanut Allergy Severity – Blame the Genome

Novel genes associated with the peanut allergy severity and the way the genes interact together have been identified by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The findings from this study could lead to the development of better treatments and approaches to identify biomarkers that can predict the severity of a peanut allergy before exposure.

Chemotherapy Resistance Could be Due to Mitochondrial Stress

Researchers at the Salk institute have discovered a way in which some cancers resist chemotherapy. Published in Nature Metabolism, they showed that mitochondria can signal to the rest of the cell when there is stress or chemicals that can damage DNA, such as chemotherapy.

Over 100 Variants Found to Influence Psychiatric Disorders

Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium have discovered that many distinct psychiatric diseases share a common genetic basis. More than 100 genetic variants were found to play a role in determining risk levels for different mental health conditions.

Blame Double XX for Autoimmune Issues

Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have discovered a possible explanation for why autoimmune disease are more common in females. The research based on mouse models showed that the extra X chromosome in females may be to blame.