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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 6th May

Check out the latest Genomics Week in Brief – full of intriguing news and research from the genomics space!

Top stories from the past week:

  • A new study has challenged the belief that long telomeres lead to a longer life, revealing that those with longer telomeres are more prone to developing the blood condition clonal haematopoiesis (NEJM).
  • A new method called STING-seq has been developed that combines gene editing and single-cell sequencing to identify disease-causing genetic variants (Science).
  • Scientists have used a non-destructive method of DNA isolation to obtain ancient genetic material from a 20,000-year-old palaeolithic artifact (Nature).
  • Research has revealed that breast cancers can send signals to the bone marrow that impede the growth of immune cells, preventing them from fighting the tumour (Cell Stem Cell).
  • Scientists have discovered that mutations in the Foxp2 gene cause speech disorders due to dysfunction of protein motor systems (BRAIN).
  • A new method to train deep neural networks to recognise regulatory motifs in the genome has been developed – named EvoAug (Genome Biology).
  • A clinical trial has revealed that a combination of chemotherapy and a drug that removes gene-silencing epigenetic markers leads to better prognosis than chemotherapy alone (Blood).
  • A next-generation computational tool has been developed that can better analyse multi-omics data, leading to better understanding of cancer drivers (Nature Communications).
  • Scientists have visualised the tiny networks within nuclear pores that act to protect the genome by blocking harmful molecules from entering the nucleus (Nature).
  • Analysis of a chromosome that has arisen in a lab-strain of fruit flies could lead to a better understanding of supernumerary chromosomes in human cancers (Current Biology).
  • Researchers have created a new extraction protocol to obtain RNA and metabolomic data that maintains sample integrity and improves efficiency (RNA Biology).
  • A skull-implantable ultrasound device has been used to open the blood-brain barrier, allowing chemotherapy drugs to reach and fight glioblastoma tumours (The Lancet Oncology).

In other news:

  • A phase 3 clinical trial has revealed that using the drug donanemab to treat Alzheimer’s disease slows cognitive decline by 35% (UK DRI).
  • The US Food and Drug Agency has approved the first ever vaccine against RSV. Whilst the vaccine still requires approval from the Center for Disease Control prior to widespread roll-out, it could be offered to the public within in the not-too-distant future (BBC).
  • The rate of measles infections is on the rise in England, with public health experts encouraging those eligible to get MMR vaccines (Guardian).