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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 10th December

Check out the latest Genomics Week in Brief – full of intriguing news and research from the genomics space!

Top stories from the past week:

  • A genome-wide association study with over one million participants has revealed 241 new associations with coronary heart disease (Nature).
  • Artificial intelligence has predicted the structure of the (pro)renin receptor, known to be involved in pancreatic cancer (Nature).
  • “Selfish genes” have been seen to survive and proliferate through production of “poison” proteins (PLoS).
  • Researchers have identified multiple genes associated with behaviours in different dog breeds (Cell).
  • New research has identified ways in which nucleotide excision repair is controlled. This is a crucial step in DNA repair and the research enhances our understanding of the entire process (Nucleic Acids Research).
  • Genetic predisposition to ADHD has been associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s later in life (Molecular Psychiatry).
  • Researchers have identified structural variants that trigger the activation of oncogenes. Certain alterations to the 3D structure of the genome were seen to affect gene regulation and expression (Nature).
  • Genes that are associated with increased alcohol and tobacco use are found across the globe. The majority of the variation associated with this substance use was similar across a broad range of international populations (Nature).
  • Researchers have used a new next generation sequencing technology named “Loop-seq” to determine new information about the mechanical properties of DNA. The work also uncovered epigenomic mechanisms which influence DNA bending (Nature).
  • New vectors for the delivery of anti-cancer mRNA vaccines have been developed, which have less severe side effects than those currently in use (Advanced Materials).
  • A new twin study has revealed that exercise is linked to epigenetic changes that influence gene expression and lowered risk for metabolomic disease (Nature).
  • Scientists have developed a new cheaper and more efficient multi-cancer screening test. The test utilises machine learning algorithms to detect changes to glycosaminoglycans – a sugar found in the human metabolome that is associated with cancer (PNAS).

In other news:

  • The Red List of Threatened Species has been updated this week. Among the species at risk are everything from corals to crustaceans (BBC).
  • The World Health Organisation are monitoring two COVID-19 variants – Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 – that have been circulating in recent months and becoming more dominant (BBC).
  • The oldest DNA to ever be sequenced has uncovered information on plant and animal species that were native to the Arctic two million years ago (Nature).

More on these topics

alzheimers / Cancer / dna repair / Genomics / selfish genes