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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 24th September

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

Top stories from the past week:

  • Researchers elucidate the evolutionary dynamics of extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA) in cancers, showing that random ecDNA inheritance contributes to rapid genome changes, treatment resistance, and poor outcomes for patients with cancer (Nature).
  • Results from a recent Phase 3 clinical trial suggest gene therapy treatment for motor neurone disease (MND) can slow and reduce progression of the disease. Patients reported better mobility and lung function 12 months post-treatment (The University of Sheffield)
  • A weakened form of the herpes simplex virus is showing promise in early human trials as a treatment for a range of advanced cancers (BBC).
  • In a new study, researchers have uncovered the link between diet, the gut microbiome, and cancer immunotherapy outcomes (Nature).
  • First report of the clinical benefits of CRISPR via intravenous infusion show patients with rare genetic disease, hereditary angioedema, no longer need drugs to control their condition (Science).
  • New SeqCode nomenclature enables naming of prokaryotes regardless of their ability to be grown as pure cultures. Names are registered based on prokaryote genome sequences, facilitating communication across microbiological disciplines (Nature).
  • Single-cell and spatial transcriptomics reveals the hierarchical nature of tumour growth in metastatic melanoma. Findings suggest therapeutic strategies should be aimed at interfering with cancer cell reprogramming of microenvironment cues (Nature).
  • New semirational bioengineering strategy for AAV vector development provides increased potency and specificity for gene therapy treatment of muscular dystrophy and other muscle disorders (Science).
  • Genetic modification of mosquitoes causes nonautonomous gene drive and is capable of breaking the cycle of malaria transmission (Science).
  • Study identifies mutated processes that acts as predictors for immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy response. Results suggest leukocyte and T-cell proliferation have improved predictability performance over tumour mutational burden (Nature).
  • Long sequencing reads used to map genome-wide multi-way interactions and investigate higher order chromatin organization in the human genome. The newly developed mathematical approach identifies self-sustaining transcription clusters and reveals how a cell’s nucleus is organised (Nature).
  • Single cell RNA sequencing of endothelial cell heterogeneity in breast cancer identifies lipid-processing subtype that could offer a potential route for future treatment regimes (Nature).

In other news:

  • Research institutes from five European countries (Finalnd, Germany, Norway, Spain, and Sweden) commit to improving data access and availability across national borders, enabling more efficient health research (EurekAlert).
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced $90 million in funding to support the Pathogen Genomics Centers of Excellence (PGCoE). The PGCoE network will improve the prevention, control, and response to microbial threats of public health importance (CDC).
  • UK Biobank announces project aimed at creating the world’s largest longitudinal imaging dataset. The project will collect a repeated set of highly detailed, multi-organ images from 60,000 UK Biobank participants (UK Biobank).

More on these topics

Cancer / Genomics / Microbiome / Week in brief