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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 19th November

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 discovered a genetic variant which decreases the risk of developing diabetes. The study published in Science identified non-synonymous variants of MAP3K15 as having a BMI-independent role in protection against insulin-resistance (Science).
  • Researchers have identified epigenetic mechanisms which may explain latent HIV infection, a significant cause of the disease burden (Nature Microbiology).
  • A team from Frankfurt have discovered that cancer cells in the colon can communicate with adjacent cells and pass on information, including how to resist chemotherapy (Nature).
  • Individuals with Down’s Syndrome have been observed to suffer from the same accumulation of tau and amyloid-β plaques in the brain as Alzheimer’s patients, as a result of the duplication of chromosome 21 (PNAS).
  • A wide range of tumour types have been seen to express an RNA binding protein at high levels, leading to immune resistance (Science).
  • Researchers at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Heath have grown eye-like organoids in the lab using stem cells. The organoids were used to study the genetic eye condition Usher syndrome (Stem Cell Reports).
  • A team from the University of Eastern Finland have discovered that genetics play a role in the metabolism of fatty acids in the human body (Wiley Online Library).
  • Researchers have identified that five genetic variants, in combination with other factors such as length of time spent in school, are associated with the development of vision problems (PLOS).
  • A Birmingham-based team have successfully grown bone marrow in a lab for use in cancer research (Cancer Discovery).
  • Scientists have identified a genetic variant uniquely associated with the onset of diabetes in Greenland, providing hope for better treatment in the country (The Lancet).
  • The latest update on the world’s first heart transplantation using  a genetically-modified pig organ reports that unexpectedly slow electrical impulses have been detected, information which can help to inform similar work in the future (University of Maryland).
  • Researchers have observed that with ADHD have differential expression of genes which control communication within the brain. This could potentially contribute to the associated symptoms of the condition (Nature Molecular Psychiatry).
  • A low protein diet has been linked to a decrease in treatment resistance in colorectal cancers (Gastroenterology).

In other news:

  • This week is World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. The global campaign will consist of events across the world to raise awareness of the threat of antimicrobial resistance (WHO).
  • The World Health Organisation has this week announced new guidelines and timelines for the sharing of high-quality genomic data to assist in research (Nature).
  • A new immunotherapy drug for Type I diabetes, teplizumab, has been approved for use in the USA. The drug will combat the disease itself rather than the associated symptoms and is the first of its kind to be granted this approval (BBC).