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.

New Archaeal Organism Found Gives Insights into Early Complex Life

A new discovery by a Japanese team has identified a type of microorganism called an Asgard archaeon, which could shed light on how early eukaryotic cells evolved. The project took 12 years after finding the cells in deep-sea mud. The findings of the closest Archaeal relative to eukaryotes cultures so far will allow further detailed cellular and metabolic investigation and find out more about the origins of complex life.

Rare DNA Variants Linked to Height Found In Japanese Study

Dozens of rare DNA variants have been identified in the largest genetic study of human height in an Asian population. The genome-wide association study (GWAS) highlighted some of the similarities and differences that play a role in determining height in different parts of the world.

GWAS Finds Six Genetic Variants Linked to Anxiety in Veterans

A genome-wide analysis of nearly 200,000 military veterans has identified six genetic variants linked to anxiety. This is the largest genome-wide association study (GWAS) to date, and has given insights into how people may be pre-disposed to anxiety disorders and provides further explanations for why anxiety and depression often coexist.

Five Times More Genes Than Previously Thought Found to be Linked to Breast Cancer

A collaborative fine-mapping study from researchers across more than 450 departments worldwide has found five times more genetic variants to be associated with breast cancer than previously thought. The most comprehensive map of breast cancer risk variants to date identified 352 DNA errors that are associated with breast cancer with “reasonable confidence”, and target 191 genes, five times more than were previously recognised.

Discovering the Function of Ultra-Conserved “Poison Exons” Through a CRISPR-Based Tool

Scientists at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre have used a CRISPR-based tool to identify the role of ultra-conserved elements in DNA in blocking the growth of tumour cells and keeping healthy cells growing. Published in Nature Genetics, the research found the importance of these ultra-conserved elements that have remained identical between species, such as humans and mice, over millions of years and showed how essential they are in maintaining a healthy cell.

Sequencing Buyers’ Guide

Get past the hype and bias in sequencing vendor marketing materials, and get an unbiased, highly informed view from a highly qualified professional whose job it is to evaluate sequencing technologies for a world leading healthcare and research institution – the Mayo Clinic. Get a base- to high-level understanding of the sequencing process, to give […]

Illumina and Pacific Biosciences Announce Termination of their $1.2 billion Merger Deal

Illumina, Inc. (Illumina) and Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (PacBio) announced that they have mutually agreed to terminate their merger agreement. The merger was first proposed in November 2018 that Illumina would be acquiring PacBio at a fully diluted enterprise value of ~$1.2 billion. Now with the merger terminated, Illumina will have to pay a termination fee of $98 million to PacBio.

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.