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.

George Church Robustly Defends his “DNA Dating App”

George Church of Harvard University has been under heavy scrutiny after news broke out of a new “DNA Dating App” he has been involved in developing, during a recent interview with 60 minutes. The news has led to a significant backlash from some quarters, including from some within the genomics community, that the app is unethical and represents a form of eugenics.

Shareable Science: 18,000-year-old Puppy Could help Explain how Wolves Became Dogs

Scientists are all about new discoveries. As it turns out, we get especially excited when those “new discoveries” are thousands of years old. Researchers in Russia recently unveiled an 18,000-year-old puppy that was preserved in permafrost. The animal is somewhere between a wolf and a dog, and that ambiguity speaks to the oft-pondered mystery of how the two species diverged.

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.

The Saliva Test to Detect Mouth and Throat Cancer

A new non-invasive method to detect the presence of human papilloma virus (HPV)-16 in saliva has been successfully used in a collaboration between Duke University, UCLA, and University of Birmingham. HPV-16 is a high-risk virus known to be an etiologic agent for the development of head and neck cancers, specifically with oropharyngeal caners (OPCs).

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.

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.

Interview with Rory Collins, UK Biobank

Rory Collins, Principal Investigator and Chief Executive of UK Biobank leads this landmark project. We talk to him about some of the research outcomes from UK Biobank, and why he’s excited to be speaking at the Festival of Genomics this January.

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.

TEDDY Identifies Type 1 Diabetes Risk Factor

The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young or TEDDY is the largest study of its kind measuring new-borns with an increased risk of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).  The study published in Nature Medicine has uncovered an association between a genetic variant of a pancreatic cell surface-receptor and long-term viral infections.

How Much Sleep do you Need? The Answer is (partly) in Your DNA

A set of research papers suggests that some people need less sleep than others based on a few genetic changes. The papers from the neurology team at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) identified three genes that researchers can link to needing less sleep