Mobile Menu

Genomics Week in Brief: Week ending 19th January

Interested in reading the latest news from the genomics world and beyond? Then you’re in the right place! In Week in Brief, we explore the biggest news from the last seven days…

How is AI being utilised to improve healthcare?

  • An AI algorithm has been developed that can predict treatment resistance in tumours based on the presence of accumulated mutations. The model also shed light on the mechanisms leading to this response (Cancer Discovery).
  • Scientists have developed new machine learning models to predict pancreatic cancer risk. This could be integral in ensuring early detection and subsequent treatment of high-risk patients (eBioMedicine).
  • An AI model has been developed that can predict whether a gene variant is responsible for a disease, potentially improving diagnosis of rare diseases (AJHG).
  • An AI algorithm could be used to predict the risk of complications in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention for blocked arteries (European Heart Journal).

Researchers have been exploring the immune response to pathogens…

  • A study revealed that continuous activation of the complement system damages healthy cells and is linked to Long COVID (Science).
  • Research has shown that the early innate immune response in the lungs is reshaped by exposure to tuberculosis-causing bacteria. This highlights a potential new vaccine target (PLOS Pathogens).
  • A newly designed vaccine, combining parts of the influenza A virus and the SARS-CoV-2 virus, decreases the time needed for protective antibodies to develop (Journal of Virology).
  • Research has revealed that antiretroviral HIV drugs could be used to stem the risk of sepsis after bacterial infection. This is because endogenous retroviruses appear to play a role in abscess formation in mice (PNAS).

What’s been going on in the cancer research world?

  • Why do only some people with certain mutations develop a disease? A large-scale study combining multiple data sources has explored the interplay between inherited and spontaneous mutations in a rare forms of blood cancer (Nature Genetics).
  • Researchers have developed the first liquid biopsy ‘priming agent’, which can significantly increase the amount of circulating tumour DNA (Science).

And even more exciting research has been published this week…

  • Alzheimer’s disease is a common neurological condition, yet the mechanisms at play remain poorly understood. A recent study has revealed that toxic RNAs could kill brain cells and contribute to the condition, whilst protective RNAs may prevent neurodegeneration (Nature Communications).
  • A large-scale study of individuals with African ancestry has revealed a number of genetic variants linked to glaucoma (Cell).
  • A genotyping approach may be able to identify new variants of COVID-19 quicker than the traditional whole genome sequencing methods (The Lancet Microbe).
  • Finally, in a bid to understand pre-eclampsia and other disorders of pregnancy, researchers have developed ‘mini placentas’ to use as a model (Cell Stem Cell).

Check out last week’s Week in Brief here.