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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 6th February

Another weekly round-up of the latest genomics news and research – all in one place!

Top stories from the past week

  • Researchers have used machine learning to mine existing biobanks and generate realistic genomes that do not belong to real humans. (Yelmen et al, 2021)
  • A new genome sequencing study has broadened the individual and global picture of clinically relevant genetic risk factors in schizophrenia. (Yuen et al, 2021)
  • New findings reveal that errors in how chromosomes are packed into B cells may play a role in the development of B cell-related blood cancers. (Basu et al, 2021)
  • Scientists have shown that the potential genetic burden of mutations arising from retrogenes may be significantly greater than originally thought. (Zhang et al, 2021)
  • New research has found that men with two faulty genes that cause hemochromatosis are more likely to develop dementia compared to those without the faulty genes. (Atkins et al, 2021)
  • Using exome sequencing, researchers were able to identify pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants among some patients with cerebral palsy. (Pesacreta et al, 2021)
  • Researchers have found that a combination of genetic mutations may explain the higher incidence of and poorer outcomes from paediatric leukaemia in Hispanic and Latino children. (Raca et al, 2021)
  • Using advanced genomic techniques and innovative mouse models, researchers have discerned how tissue damage synergises with specific genetic changes to promote the earliest stages of pancreatic cancer. (Lowe et al, 2021)

In other news

  • 23andMe is going public through a $3.5 billion deal with Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. (Financial Times, 2021)


  • There is still time to register to watch the amazing talks from the Festival of Genomics & Biodata 2021 on-demand. Registration ends on Friday 12th February – so register now!
  • Join us for our new three-part webinar series – ‘Microbiome Sequencing ONLINE‘ – where we explore how metagenomics and microbiome sequencing is uncovering the hidden traits of the invisible world. The first webinar is taking place on Thursday 11th February 3pm GMT/4pm CET/10am EST. Register now.


  • We are delighted to share with you our latest report: ‘Liquid Biopsy: Current Status and Future Directions’. This report will provide you with an overview of liquid biopsy technologies, exclusive interviews with key leaders in the field and insights into the current technical and social barriers impacting clinical uptake. Download your free copy here.

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