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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 17th July

Keep up to date with all of the latest genomics news and research with this week’s genomics week in brief.

Top stories from the past week

  • Researchers have identified mysterious DNA sequences known as ‘Borgs’ from mud. (Al-Shayeb et al, 2021)
  • A gene therapy targeting a rare enzyme deficiency known as AADC (aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase) has been shown to improve motor function, mood, sleep and social interactions of affected children. (Pearson et al, 2021)
  • A new study has found that haematopoietic stem cells use RNA molecules from ‘junk’ DNA sections to enhance their activation after chemotherapy. (Clapes et al, 2021)
  • A team of scientists has created a technique that has enabled them to recover an environmental human genome in the absence of skeletal remains. (Gelabert et al, 2021)
  • Researchers have created an inflammatory clock of aging (iAge) that can measure inflammatory load. It also predicts multi-morbidity, frailty, immune health and cardiovascular aging, and is associated with exceptional longevity in centenarians. (Sayed et al, 2021)
  • Using computational tools, researchers have studied variable-number tandem repeats and developed a better way to identify these variants among different populations. (Lu et al, 2021)
  • In a proof-of-concept study, researchers used base editing in a prenatal mouse model to correct a lysosomal storage disease known as Hurler syndrome. (Bose et al, 2021)
  • Researchers have conducted a brain organoid study and shown that exposure to a common pesticide synergises with a frequent autism-linked gene mutation. (Modafferi et al, 2021)
  • New research has shown that a deficit in histone methylation could lead to the development of autism spectrum disorders in mice. (Balan et al, 2021)
  • According to new research, all cancers fall in two categories based on the presence or absence of a protein called Yes-associated protein, or YAP. (Pearson et al, 2021)
  • A recent study has found that inducing random chromosome instability events in mice for as little as one week is enough to trigger harmful chromosomal patterns in cells that ultimately initiate cancer development. (Shoshani et al, 2021)

In other news

  • A group of geneticists who study the cellular process of meiosis have released an action plan on how to boost inclusion of underrepresented groups in their community. (Billmyre et al, 2021)


  • Join us on Wednesday 21st July at 3pm BST/4pm CEST/10am EDT for the final webinar in our ‘Clinical Microbiology ONLINE’ series. In this webinar, our speakers reflect on the lessons learned from the pandemic and how it will influence the field going forward.
  • Make sure you register for the next webinar in our ‘Cancer Genomics ONLINE’ series. In this webinar, taking place on Tuesday 20th July at 3pm BST/4pm CEST/10am EDT, we explore how cancer genomics is being applied in the clinic.

More on these topics

Gene Therapy / Genomics / Organoids / Week in brief