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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 25th March

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 new compound that can be used to reverse HIV latency, allowing the virus to be targeted by immune cells (Science)
  • A cancer drug that has been 18 years in the making has shown promising results in a Phase I trial. 20 patients, who has exhausted all other therapies, tried the experimental drug, and a significant number responded positively to the treatment (Nature)
  • In a bid to educate individuals about the risk of dilated cardiomyopathy, genetics experts have developed a booklet outlining the familial links to the condition. Use of the resource correlated with an increase in those undergoing genetic screening for the condition (Circulation)
  • Scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research have recommended that myeloma patients be testing for aggressive genetic variants at diagnosis, in order to determine if they will benefit from taking the drug lenalidomide (Blood)
  • Researchers are encouraging the use of genetic testing in those with cerebral palsy. They believe that whole exome sequencing could lead to more effective treatments (JAMA)
  • Leaving lymph nodes intact, rather than removing them due to the risk of metastasis, may improve the effectiveness of immunotherapy (Cell)
  • Researchers have identified mutations in the PIK3R1 gene that dysregulate lymphocyte differentiation, leading to the genetic disorder activated PI3K delta syndrome
  • Short telomeres are associated with brain structure changes that are linked to dementia, according to a recent study (PLOS ONE)
  • Mutation in the desmosomal gene plakophilin-2 are associated with the onset of arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy . Those with this mutation are prone to increased desmosomal protein degradation (Science)
  • Transcriptomic changes in glial cells are associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease (Nature)
  • Researchers have developed an approach to decrease humoral immunity, allowing for more efficient delivery of adeno-virus based gene therapies (Human Gene Therapy)

In other news:

  • The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will be introducing new measures to overhaul clinical trials in the UK, improving the approval process and making it easier to run trials (UK Government)
  • New Genetic Technology Bill passes into law in England (UK Government)
  • Researchers from Imperial College London have discovered, through the analysis of meteorites, the origin of Earth’s volatile chemicals (Science)