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Genomics Week in Brief: Week ending 12th August

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

Top stories from the past week:

  • Blood stem cells have been genetically engineered whilst still in the bone marrow for the first time. This technology could, in time, be used to treat conditions such as sickle cell anaemia (Science).
  • Hematopoietic stem cell therapy has effectively treated some Alzheimer’s symptoms in mice (Cell Reports).
  • A Notch inhibitor, in combination with standard therapies, has been used to effectively treat aggressive breast cancers in pre-clinical models (Cancers).
  • The way your hair falls could be down to your genes! Researchers have discovered that hair whorl direction is influenced by four novel genetic variants (Journal of Investigative Dermatology).
  • Scientists have discovered that a mitochondrial-associated protein plays an essential role in the cellular stress response. This furthers our understanding of various diseases that are linked to mitochondrial stress (Nature Structural & Molecular Biology).
  • A single-cell transcriptomics study has identified a potential target for HIV-1 treatment (Science Translational Medicine).
  • The APOE4 allele that is associated with increased Alzheimer’s risk has been seen to have benefits for fertility, according to a recent study (Science Advances).
  • Researchers have used gene therapy to restore hearing in mice with a genetic form of deafness (PNAS).
  • Mutations that impact RNA stability could contribute to prostate cancer outcomes (Cell Reports).
  • Researchers have developed a machine learning model to predict which enhancers are involved in disease (Nature Genetics).
  • Scientists have developed a precise gene editing tool to make single-base changes in cancer models, allowing better insights into the impact of these mutations (Nature Biotechnology).
  • A pre-clinical study has revealed that CAR T cell therapy could be used to treat ovarian cancer. The genetically engineered cells are generally not effective against solid tumours (Nature Communications).

In other news:

  • A study has revealed that brain cells in male and female mice respond differently to stress. This finding highlights the need for diversity in research, as most biological studies are still exclusively carried out in male animals (Cell Reports).
  • Damage to the mitochondria may be responsible for long-lasting impacts of COVID-19 infection, by altering gene expression in key tissues (Science).
  • Finally, scientists believe that they could be approaching the discovery of a fifth force of nature, a finding that could change everything we know about physics (BBC).

Read last week’s Genomics Week in Brief here!