Mobile Menu

Week in Brief: Week Ending 28th June

Looking for the latest news from the genomics world? Only got 5 minutes? You’re in the right place!

In this Week in Brief, we look at the latest diabetes research…

Scientists have elucidated tissue-specific gene regulation in pancreatic beta and liver cells, facilitated by two transcription factors that have been linked to diabetes (Nature Communications).

A genetic variant that is common in those of African descent has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes complications. Moreover, the variant is associated with a reduced level of a common diagnostic biomarker, meaning intervention and diagnosis can be delayed (Nature Medicine).

And explore recent breakthroughs in oncology…

An international group of researchers have identified a high-risk subtype of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, alongside a potential drug target for the disease (Cancer Discovery).

Liver biopsies could be used to guide treatment for pancreatic cancer and  predict the risk of the disease spreading to other organs, according to a recent study (Nature Medicine).

A 45-gene signature has been unveiled that can predict patient outcomes in adrenal cancer, and opens a new avenue for potential treatment (ESMO Open).

Disruption of the gut microbiome after chemotherapy has been linked to cognitive decline suffered by some patients after the treatment (Brain, Behaviour and Immunity).

What’s been going on in the gene therapy field?

Researchers have developed an epigenetic editing therapy that could turn off the gene responsible for prion disease, for which there is currently no cure (Science).

The results of a single-patient gene therapy for a rare neurodegenerative disorder were published this week. 12 months after treatment, disease progression in the child (who suffers from hereditary spastic paraplegia type 50) appeared to have halted (Nature Medicine).

And that’s not all!

A study of individuals from South Korea and Japan has highlighted the risk of short- and long-term neuropsychiatric sequelae following SARS-CoV-2 infection (Nature Human Behaviour).

Analysis of skeletal remains has led to the identification of the first case of Down syndrome in Neanderthals. The anthropologists who led the study concluded that the child, who lived until the age of six, would have required extensive support, suggesting that altruistic caregiving featured in Neanderthal communities (Science Advances).

Researchers have investigated the use of ‘demographic shortcuts’ in AI models for medical use, particularly in fields like radiology. The research sheds new light on the reasons for incorrect results in women and people of colour, and the limitations of these tools (Nature Medicine).

FInally, a study using single-nucleus RNA sequencing has identified a set of genes associated with neuronal death in ALS (Nature Aging).

Check out last week’s Week in Brief here.