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Genomics Week in Brief: Week Ending 15th March

Looking for a round up of the latest genomics news (and more)? Look no further than Week in Brief!

This week, there were developments in the microbiology world…

Experts have called for the regulation of microbiome testing kits to ensure that consumers don’t fall prey to inaccurate or unproven information (University of Maryland).

Scientists have developed a new rapid test using CRISPR to identify the pathogen that causes melioidosis. This new technology could lead to better detection and earlier treatment of this often-fatal tropical disease (The Lancet Microbe).

A new study has revealed that the gut microbiome in cystic fibrosis patients is altered compared to that of healthy individuals. The study also showed that the composition of the microbiome has broader health implications in these patients (mBio).

A large-scale study has revealed that age, sex and location contribute to the likelihood of an individual having an antibiotic resistant bloodstream infection (PLOS Medicine).

We have learned more about pregnancy and embryonic development…

New research has shown that a change in the way that enhancers control gene expression occurs during the differentiation phase of embryonic development (Nature Genetics).

DNA methylation changes have been implicated in the development of preeclampsia. Additionally, the researchers discovered that children born to women who had the condition were more likely suffer cardiovascular disease and strokes (Physiological Genomics).

A genome-wide association study has identified several genes that contribute to female fertility and the likelihood of giving birth to non-identical twins (Human Reproduction).

Using single-cell RNA sequencing and high resolution imaging techniques, researchers have created an atlas of cell types in the heart in a bid to understand the development of the organ (Nature).

New screening techniques have been developed…

Researchers from the Liu lab, which pioneered base and prime editing, have created a platform to develop compact protein degradation tags, allowing for a better understanding of protein function in cells (Science).

Using prime editing, researchers have developed a rapid method to screen tumours for mutations, allowing for the identification of potential therapeutic targets (Nature Biotechnology).

Scientists have developed a new method to identify and characterise repeat DNA sequences in cancerous tissue and in cell-free DNA (Science Translational Medicine).

What else has gone on this week?

Researchers have identified a gene that contributes to the vulnerability of neurons in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (Brain).

A study in mice has revealed dynamic gene expression changes linked to the development, and regression, of liver fibrosis (iScience).

FInally, researchers have created a new method to sequence T-cell receptors in cancer, even in degraded DNA samples, allowing for a better understanding of how the immune system responds to the disease (Cancer Research).

Check out last week’s Week in Brief here.