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Genomics Week in Brief: Week ending 2nd February

Another week, and more exciting news from the genomics world! Sit back, relax, and take a look at what we’ve collated for you in the latest Week in Brief.

It’s been a big week for gene therapy news…

A CRISPR-Cas9-based therapy has cured patients of hereditary angioedema after one dose, according to results of a recent trial (NEJM).

Researchers have developed a new gene editing technique that combines recombinases and zinc finger DNA-binding domains. The novel tool overcomes current gene editing limitations and could transform the gene therapy landscape (Nature Biotechnology).

A study in mice shows that replacing a faulty copy of a gene extends the lifespan of those with a rare inherited heart condition (Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine).

CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing has been used to repair T cells in a mouse model of a rare immune condition, familial hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, in which cytotoxic T cells function abnormally (Science Immunology).

Cancer researchers have been hard at work optimising new treatments…

Scientists have discovered that the metastatic potential of tumour cells is correlated with DNA methylation status. This finding could open new therapeutic avenues (Nature Cancer).

Two new immunotherapy targets for pancreatic cancer have been identified. Using monoclonal antibodies against these targets prevented the growth of the tumour cells in mice (Cancers).

An epigenetic biomarker for a difficult-to-diagnose form of breast cancer has been discovered. This could aid in the early detection of the disease (The Journal of Pathology).

3D tumour organoids, created using a patient’s own tissue, could be grown in the lab to test treatments and predict the response, according to a new study (Cell Reports Medicine).

We’ve had some exciting updates in the neuroscience space…

Researchers have published a comprehensive spatial database of single neurons in the mouse hippocampus (Science).

A biomarker of synaptic plasticity in Alzheimer’s disease has been identified, creating a potential route for memory restoration (Journal of Clinical Investigation).

What else has been going on?

Why are women more susceptible to autoimmune diseases? A new study shows that Xist (the lncRNA responsible for X-chromosome inactivation) ribonucleoprotein complex drives sex-biased autoimmunity (Cell).

Finally, scientists have managed to recreate the 3D folding of the yeast genome, allowing insights into the mechanisms that regulate gene activity (Nature Genetics).

Check out last week’s Week in Brief here.