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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 31st October

Another genomics week in brief all the most recent research and news stories from the genomics space in one place.

Top stories from the past week

  • Researchers have identified molecular characteristics of clonal haematopoiesis that increase the risk of therapy-related myeloid neoplasms. (Bolton et al, 2020)
  • A team of researchers have developed a database for synergistic and antagonistic interactions of longevity-associated genes – SynergyAge. (Bunu et al, 2020)
  • By profiling single-cell chromatin accessibility landscapes, researchers developed a multi-omic epigenetic atlas of the adult human brain. These analyses have implicated candidate causal variants for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. (Montine et al, 2020)
  • Researchers have created an immune-related gene signature that is a prognostic indicator for osteosarcoma patients. (Wu et al, 2020)
  • Bats act as reservoirs for lots of viruses. Research has found that various species of bats have different ways of suppressing inflammation, centered around changes in genes involved in the innate immune response. (Goh et al, 2020)
  • Medical researchers have isolated a peptide from beetroot which could be a good candidate for treating certain inflammatory diseases, such as neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases. (Gruber et al, 2020)
  • Mouse studies have revealed clear connections among a range of autism types and abnormalities in brain cells that guide sociability and platonic love. (Lewis et al, 2020)
  • A new study has found that Cas9-gene editing causes off-target effects, including indels and chromosome losses. (Egli et al, 2020)
  • Using human brain tissue samples, scientists at the University of Exeter have developed a new epigenetic clock specifically for the human brain. (Shireby et al, 2020)

In other news

  • The FDA have approved Foundation Medicine’s liquid biopsy test – FoundationOne Liquid CDx – for three new targeted cancer therapies that treat advanced ovarian, breast and non-small cell lung cancer. (Foundation Medicine, 2020)
  • Research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, has reported that smokers, especially those who begin young, are three times more likely to die prematurely. (Thomson et al, 2020)
  • A major biomedical-research organisation – Howard Hughes Medical Institute – have for the first time aimed to make financial reparations for the use of cells from Henrietta Lacks. Francis Collins, geneticist and physician, also donated a portion of his 2020 Templeton Prize award to the foundation. (The Henrietta Lacks Foundation, 2020)


  • Join us for our second ‘Single Cell ONLINE’ webinar series. This free virtual four-part series will dive further into the technology that is providing insight into cellular heterogeneity. The first webinar is taking place on Thursday 5th November at 3pm GMT/ 4pm CET/ 10am EDT. It will be an interactive panel discussion on single cell and spatial technologies. Register now.