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Genomics Week in Brief: Week Ending 5th April

Welcome back to Week in Brief, where we explore the latest news from the genomics world and beyond!

What’s going on in microbiome research this week?

Researchers at the Broad Institute have identified a gut microbe that consumes cholesterol and may lower heart disease risk (Cell).

A study has shown that fecal microbiota transplantation could be an effective treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (eClinicalMedicine).

And COVID-19 research is still a priority globally…

Researchers have developed a machine learning approach to track the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants as they evolve within individuals and make their way into the population (PNAS).

A new method to detect and quantify SARS-COV-2 viral load has been developed. The technique is faster and more accurate than current tools (Advanced Materials Interfaces).

Scientists have developed a platform that can rapidly assess the impact of SARS-CoV-2 mutations on severity of the resulting disease (Nature Biomedical Engineering).

How can our genes impact our lifestyle?

Using UK Biobank data, rare variants in two genes have been identified that confer increased risk of obesity in adults. (Nature Genetics).

A large-scale analysis of over 3 million individuals from the 23&Me database has uncovered never-before-seen links between genes and alcohol consumption (eBioMedicine).

New references have been created, which could further future research…

Researchers have, for the first time, created a reference map of tandem repeat expansions, which are known to cause a number of human diseases, yet have historically been difficult to study (Cell).

Using single-cell and spatial technology, researchers have created an atlas of the ovary. The findings could contribute to better treatment for fertility and several human diseases (Science Advances).

What else has gone on this week?

Three different endophenotypes of multiple sclerosis have been identified, which are associated with different disease trajectories. This breakthrough could transform treatment for the condition (Science Translational Medicine).

Scientists have used CRISPR-Cas9 to successfully correct a disease-causing mutation in patient-derived stem cells, from individuals suffering from a serious metabolic liver disease (American Journal of Human Genetics).

A gene on the Y chromosome has been linked to heart failure in men following Y chromosome loss, according to a new study. The researchers also figured out how to reverse harmful changes to heart tissue in mice (Nature Cardiovascular Research).

Researchers have identified epigenetic changes associated with premature aging in individuals with a Fontan circulation (JACC: Advances).

Check out last week’s Week in Brief here.