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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 15th July

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

Top stories from the past week:

  • Scientists have published a comprehensive multimodal human Heart Cell Atlas. As part of the work, they also presented a new tool that can be used to predict drug reactions (Nature).
  • Researchers have developed a method to visualise tiny molecular movements within a cell. Notably, they can observe the dynamics of CRISPR-Cas complexes, which could help to improve the precision of the technology (Nature Structural and Molecular Biology).
  • Scientists have suggested that the main driver of antimicrobial resistance is not the emergence of new mutations, but rather the spread of resistant bacteria between patients (Nature Communications).
  • A new therapy has been developed that can combat resistance to the chemotherapy drug cisplatin in prostate cancer cells, showing positive results in mice (ACS Central Science).
  • New research suggests that retrotransposons hijack DNA repair machinery to replicate themselves (Nature).
  • A study has shown that whole genome sequencing is nearly twice as effective at identifying harmful mutations in newborns than traditional targeted screening (JAMA).
  • Increased expression of a gene on chromosome 21 has been seen to cause premature ageing in those with Down’s syndrome, owing to their extra copy of the chromosome (eBioMedicine).
  • Scientists have developed a porcine genetic model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy that could assist in developing targeted therapies (PNAS).
  • New research shows that immune memory is governed by epigenetic and structural DNA changes (Science Immunology).
  • Unborn babies use their father’s copy of a gene to force their mother to redirect nutrients to the womb by releasing hormones from the placenta, according to a recent study (Cell Metabolism).
  • Clinical trial results have revealed that combination cancer treatments based on biomarkers lead to better response rates in non-small-cell lung cancer patients (Nature Medicine).
  • Researchers have characterised a number of mutations linked to a hereditary syndrome that increases the risk of kidney cancer (Cancer Discovery).

In other news:

  • Researchers have developed a ‘lollipop-based’ method of saliva collection that could be used as a non-invasive sample collection method in doctor’s offices (ACS Analytical Chemistry).
  • Work has suggested that the Apgar score – a method used to determine the health of babies at birth – is not effective for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) infants (Guardian).
  • The MRHA has approved the first ever RSV vaccine for adults, tackling the virus that is the leading cause of pneumonia for both babies and the elderly (Guardian).
  • Finally, a new study has revealed that those who participate in genetic studies may be genetically predisposition to do so! This finding should allow scientists to tackle participation bias in studies (Nature Genetics).