Research

Deep Learning Technology Used to Decode Gene Interactions

Computer scientists at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have developed a digital method to transform massive amounts of gene expression data into something more image-like. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the scientists utilised an incredibly powerful deep learning method that has revolutionised methods such as facial recognition in recent years.

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.

Genetic Cause of a Rare Type of Epilepsy Found

The cause of a rare type of familial epilepsy has been linked to two new gene mutations, as discovered by researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Published back-to-back in Nature Communications, Dr Mark Bennett, Dr Haloom Rafehi and Professor Melanie Bahlo from the Institute made this ground-breaking discovery as part of an international consortium.

“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 […]