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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 3rd April

Another month, another genomics week in brief – jam-packed with all the latest genomics news and research!

Top stories from the past week

  • A large scale study has identified a new undescribed subtype of Y chromosome that is linked to increased risk of genomic rearrangements and subsequent fertility issues in males. (Hallast et al, 2021)
  • In a new study, researchers have identified a novel mechanism that may explain why a rare mutation is associated with familial Alzheimer’s disease. (Zhang et al, 2021)
  • Researchers have devised a new CAR-T gene therapy approach against HIV that was found to yield superior and longer-lasting results in mouse models. (Zhen et al, 2021)
  • Researchers have identified a pair of microRNA molecules that help to maintain a population of cancerous stem cells and could unmask a hidden vulnerability in breast cancers. (Tordonato et al 2021)
  • The first study to use whole genome sequencing to discover rare genomic variants linked with Alzheimer’s disease has identified 13 such variants. (Prokopenko et al, 2021)
  • Scientists at the University of Cambridge have shown in animal studies that gene therapy may help repair some of the damage caused by glaucoma and dementia. (Khatib et al, 2021)
  • Mount Sinai researchers have identified genetic and cellular mechanisms of Crohn’s disease, providing new insights for future treatments that could offer a tailored approach to patients. (Nayar et al, 2021)

In other news

  • The Federal Trade Commission has filed an administrative complaint and authorised a federal court lawsuit to block Illumina’s proposed acquisition of liquid biopsy company, Grail. (FTC, 2021)
  • Oxford Nanopore has set out plans to float on the London Stock Exchange. (The Guardian, 2021)
  • The FDA has approved the first test of CRISPR to correct the genetic defect causing sickle cell disease. (Sanders, 2021)
  • Researchers have developed a novel wearable ‘sweat sticker’ that is able to diagnose cystic fibrosis on the skin in real time. (Ray et al, 2021)


  • Join us for our latest webinar series – ‘Cancer Genomics ONLINE’. Here, we share work from global researchers who are mapping cancer genomes and leading the fight against this disease. The first webinar is taking place on Thursday 15th April at 3pm BST/4pm CEST/10am EDT. Register now to watch the webinar live or on-demand.
  • Join us on Wednesday 14th April at 3pm BST/4pm CEST/10am EDT for our recent webinar series – ‘COVID & Genomics ONLINE‘. In this series, we share the latest research and insights from leading experts covering key aspects of the pandemic. Register now to watch the webinar live or on-demand.