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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 2nd January

Happy New Year from everyone here at Front Line Genomics! We are kicking the year off with your weekly update of the latest genomics news and research – enjoy!

Top stories from the past week

  • Findings have shown that the clinical criteria for diagnosing autism is inadequate for people with genetic conditions. (Bree et al, 2020)
  • According to a recent study, boosting immune system T cells to effectively attack solid tumours can be done by adding a small molecule to CAR-T cell therapy. (Serody et al, 2020)
  • New mutations that enhance resistance to a drug used to prevent malaria in pregnant women and children has been reported as common in countries already fighting the disease. (Clark et al, 2020)
  • Scientists from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a simple, high-throughput method for transferring isolated mitochondria and their associated mitochondrial DNA into mammalian cells. (Teitell et al, 2020)
  • Analyses in the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii, have shown that while haemoglobin appeared independently in several species, it actually descends from a single gene transmitted to all by their last common ancestor. (Balavoine et al, 2020)
  • New research by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has shown that Chiari 1 malformation can be caused by variations in two genes involved in brain development. (Haller et al, 2020)
  • Scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering have discovered how tumours co-opt inflammatory signalling while evading immune surveillance, which has important implications for immunotherapy. (Bakhoum et al, 2020)
  • Biochemists at the University of Münster have now developed a strategy for controlling the biological functions of DNA with the aid of light. (Rentmeister et al, 2020)
  • Chemists at Scripps Research have made a discovery that supports the theory that life on Earth arose from a RNA-DNA mix. (Gibard et al, 2020)


  • Register now for our annual Festival of Genomics & Biodata. The Festival is the UK’s largest Genomics event and it’s taking place digitally between 26- 29 January. With over 200 amazing speakers from across the globe and cutting-edge content this event shouldn’t be missed!
  • Join us for our brand-new three-part webinar series – ‘Multi-Omics ONLINE’ . Here, we bring together global experts who are harnessing diverse datasets to advance our understanding of human health and disease. Register now.

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Genomics / Week in brief