Sequencing

The advancement of sequencing technology has had the singe biggest effect on genomics research. As it develops further, so does the scope of genomic research and applications.

Genetic Mutation Significantly Increases Fruit Fly Lifespan

Fruit flies with a certain genetic mutation have significantly longer lifespans and better resistance to stresses than flies without the mutation. Fruit flies share a significant proportion of their genes with humans, making them good models to study human diseases and ageing. As the fruit flies usually live for about two months their lifespan is […]

New Blood Test Can Predict Cancer Progression

A new technique to analyse the tumour DNA present in patient’s blood circulations is an effective method to monitor breast cancer progression. The technique has been shown to give a hundred-fold improvement in the detection limit for tumour DNA. Analysis of the DNA that the tumour sheds into the bloodstream provides a non-invasive means of […]

Genomic Study of Komodo Dragons Shows Why They are Top Predators

A genomic study of Komodo dragons has shed light on their crucial genetic adaptations that have enabled them to become powerful apex predators. Komodo dragons are native to the Indonesian Islands, where they are top of the food chain. They can be up to 3m long, run at speeds of 20 kph and can take […]

Results of Melanoma Genetic Testing Motivate Positive Lifestyle Changes

Explaining to people that they have a high genetic risk for melanoma makes them choose positive lifestyle changes to reduce their risk, a new study has shown. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer to which certain people are predisposed to through genetic factors. These include having a family history of the disease and carrying […]

CRISPR Used to Find Genes that Protect Cells from Zika

A CRISPR technique has been used to identify genes in cells that enable them to survive infection of the Zika Virus. It is hoped that this development will lead to future treatments for Zika. Currently there is no vaccine or treatment specific to the Zika virus. If pregnant women contract the disease their unborn children […]

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 […]

Genetic Study Identifies Diabetes Gene in African Populations

The largest scale genomic study in Africa has identified a new gene that is linked to the onset of diabetes in African populations. Interestingly, the gene has not been found to be linked to diabetes in European populations.   In type 2 diabetes the body is able to produce insulin but the body’s cells do […]

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 […]

Digital DNA: Hacking DNA Databases – An Interview with Peter Ney

The Digital DNA series will explore 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. In the first of our Digital DNA series, we talked to Dr. Peter Ney, a researcher in the […]

Gender Affects Gene Expression in Mammals

Although it has been known that different genes determine different characteristics in male and females, new research suggests that differences in gene expression has a much larger impact than previously thought. Many diseases and traits show difference between the sexes. For example, autism is more common in males than females, but multiple sclerosis is more […]

Largest DNA-Mapping Study of a Single US Population Begins

Intermountain Healthcare and deCODE Genetics, a subsidiary of Amgen based in Iceland, have announced a major joint collaboration and study of 500,000 genomes centred around discovering new connections between genetics and human diseases. The study represents the largest US DNA-mapping attempt from a single population.

Unlocking the Promise of DNA Sequencers: An Interview with Ben Langmead

Dr Ben Langmead is a computational biologist and assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Johns Hopkins University, most famous for his creation of the Bowtie and Bowtie 2 sequence alignment algorithms, used to improve sequencing alignment quality. FLG spoke to Dr Langmead about his lab, his recent work using the Stampede2 supercomputer cluster to optimise sequencing data analysis software, and the future for DNA sequencers as a whole.