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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 13th May

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 biomarker, expressed on T-cells, has been identified that can predict treatment response in non-small-cell lung cancer using a blood test (Cancer Research Communications).
  • Researchers have developed a gene-editing approach that allows any type of cancer-causing mutation to be mirrored in mice. This breakthrough should allow for better understanding of the impacts of different mutations (Nature Biotechnology).
  • Researchers have uncovered links between the gene p16 and colorectal cancer, subsequently identifying a new therapeutic target (JECCR).
  • A method has been developed to analyse extrachromosomal DNA that is often found in ‘rings’ inside tumours (Nature Genetics).
  • A CRISPR-based drug has been developed that targets harmful E. coli strains without impacting the rest of the microbiome. The therapy improves upon the use of antibiotics that can also kill beneficial bacteria (Nature Biotechnology).
  • An individualised mRNA vaccine that acts against aggressive pancreatic cancer has shown positive results in a phase I clinical trial (Nature).
  • Research has revealed that a long non-coding RNA is essential for proper muscle contraction within the gastrointestinal tract (Gastroenterology).
  • A machine learning technology – called SpaceMarkers – uses spatial transcriptomic data to elucidate molecular interactions within tumour microenvironments (Cell Systems).
  • Researchers have identified structural variations that are associated with the risk of frontotemporal and Lewy body dementia (Cell Genomics).
  • A study has revealed that some of the short tandem repeat mutations that are associated with ALS and frontotemporal dementia are also linked to other neurodevelopmental disorders (Science Advances).
  • Scientists have discovered that a gene that contributes to the shape of the human nose is derived from Neanderthals (Communications Biology).
  • Researchers have developed an enzyme that recognises and cuts only disease-associated RNA strands, effectively performing gene silencing (Nature Communications).

In other news:

  • It has been announced this week that the first baby in the UK with three biological parents has been born. The child has inherited its mitochondrial genome from a healthy donor as a means to avoid mitochondrial disease (BBC).
  • Recent research has revealed that cervical cancer screening uptake doubles when at-home testing kits are sent in the post (UNC Health).
  • The World Health Organization have declared that monkeypox is no longer a global health emergency (BBC).
  • The NHS is trialling ‘smart’ wound dressings that have the ability to sense whether wounds are infected or healing. The technology could be used to decrease the number of diabetes-related amputations each year (BBC).