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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 22nd April

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

Top stories from the past week:

  • A gene that is over-expressed in Down’s syndrome patients is responsible for impaired neuronal development in mice (PLOS Biology).
  • A study has revealed that brain diseases can be classified into different subgroups using transcriptomic data. This information could be used to elucidate connections between different diseases and prevent misdiagnosis (PLOS Biology).
  • Researchers have described a new therapeutic approach to treat lung cancers. By inhibiting the TREM2 gene, natural killer cells can thrive and fight tumours (Nature Immunology).
  • Lung cancer evolves differently in smokers and non-smokers, highlighting a need to consider different treatment approaches (Cancer Cell).
  • The structure of the mutated Huntingtin protein has been revealed. The pathogenic form of the protein is responsible for the neurodegenerative disorder Huntington’s disease (Nature Structural and Molecular Biology).
  • A new method for testing cancer drug toxicity has been described. It involves assessing the drugs in canine tissues, donated by bereaved pet owners (PLOS One).
  • Newly developed nanoparticles could be used to deliver cancer drugs to the human body whilst minimising side effects and harmful inflammation (Science Advances).
  • Researchers have described a previously unknown mechanism of DNA folding, providing insights into chromosomal processes (Nature).
  • Genetic loci associated with perivascular space (PVS) have been identified. PVS surrounds small vessels in the brain, and enlargement or dilation of PVS is linked to stroke risk (Nature Medicine).
  • Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have described a potential new gene therapy for glaucoma patients (Science Advances).
  • Omomyc, a MYC inhibitor that has recently passed Phase I trials, is effective in impairing melanoma progression (Genes and Development).
  • A new genetic variant that leads to loss-of-function in the Complement Factor B protein has been linked to Crohn’s disease (GUT).

In other news:

  • Successful Phase III trial results suggest that gepotidacin could be the first new oral antibiotic to treat UTIs in over 20 years (GSK).
  • A 75-year-old woman who was part of a trial to test the use of artificial intelligence in cancer detection is now free of bowel cancer (BBC).
  • The NHS has launched a campaign to recruit more black blood donors in response to an increase in the prevalence of sickle cell disease (BBC).