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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 31st December

Check out the latest Genomics Week in Brief covering 17th to 31st December – full of intriguing news and research from the genomics space over the festive period!

Top stories from the past week:

  • A genome-wide CRISPR loss-of-function screen has identified new genetic variation associated with Type 2 Diabetes risk (Nature).
  • Researchers from Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory have developed a method to determine the ancestry of certain cancers. Discovering the origins of tumour DNA could explain why certain ethnicities are pre-disposed to different cancer types and potentially inform personalised treatments (Cancer Research).
  • Artificial DNA has been used to trigger an immune response that can kill cancer cells and prevent disease progression (JACS).
  • A genetic test has been developed that can determine which parent passed on cancer-associated mutations using long-read DNA methylation sequencing (Cell Genomics).
  • A study in the model organism C. elegans has revealed that radiation damage can be passed from a father to their offspring. Upon fertilization, maternal proteins found in the egg can be used to repair the damaged DNA (Nature).
  • Researchers have identified a potential genetic variant that predisposes children to Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome following COVID-19 infection (Science).
  • A team from Duke University have developed a program which uses DNA as a “construction material.” It is hoped the program can be used to create efficient drug vectors and nanoparticles (Science).
  • Researchers have uncovered genetic mechanisms that contribute to overeating and subsequent obesity (The FASEB Journal).
  • A multi-omics analysis of colorectal cancer patients has revealed hundreds of new risk factors for the disease (Nature).
  • Circulating microRNAs could be used as a referral criterion for early palliative care for advanced cancer patients (Oncotarget).
  • A recent pre-print has described a new program, TrAGEDy, which can perform alignment of single-cell transcriptomic trajectories whilst overcoming the constraints of current tools (BioRXiv).
  • Gene expression changes have been seen to occur almost entirely during transcription in E. coli (Science).

In other news:

  • 10 children with the rare condition Artemis-SCID have been successfully treated with a new gene therapy that utilises the patient’s own healthy cells (New England Journal of Medicine).
  • An NHS pilot scheme has been announced which will see patients undergo genetic testing before they are prescribed drugs such as antidepressants and statins (The Pharmaceutical Journal).
  • Proton beam therapy has been provided by the NHS for the first time, with three breast cancer patients receiving the revolutionary treatment (Guardian).
  • A patient with an aggressive form of cancer has been cured following a personalised immunotherapy trial (Guardian).

More on these topics

Cancer / Diabetes / Gene Therapy / Genomics