Mobile Menu

Genomics Week in Brief: Week Ending 7th June

Happy Monday everyone! We’re back with Week in Brief, your stop for the latest news from the genomics world.

There has been major news in the Alzheimer’s field this week…

Researchers have agreed to retract a landmark paper from 2006 that linked a form of amyloid protein to memory impairment in Alzheimer’s. The decision comes after it was revealed two years ago that the paper contained doctored images (Science).

However, a study has shown that increased communication between microglia and astrocytes in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients has a toxic effect on neurons (Cell Reports).

How does diet effect not only yourself, but your offspring?

A father’s diet can influence his son’s metabolism, according to a new study in mice and humans. A high-fat diet was linked to the epigenetic inheritance of mitochondrial RNAs associated with metabolic disorders (Nature).

Maternal obesity has been linked to overeating behaviours in offspring, according to a recent study in mice. This is due to long-term overexpression of a microRNA in the hypothalamus (PLOS Biology).

And that isn’t the only diet-related news this week…

Untargeted metabolomics studies have shown that xylitol, a widely-used low calorie sweetener, is associated with increased cardiovascular risk (European Heart Journal).

We’ve also seen updates from the immunology world…

An analysis of a ‘gene desert’ has led to the identification of a pathway that drives inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, the pathway could be targeted by existing drugs, opening a new avenue for treatment (Nature).

Researchers have identified a genetic variant that contributes to the development of childhood-onset lupus, providing a major new target for treatment (Nature Immunology).

And new tech has been at the forefront of the news…

Researchers have developed a new spatial machine learning tool to combine gene expression data with spatial information to better understand disease mechanisms (Bioinformatics Advances).

Scientists have developed an alternative to PCR named AMPLON (Amplifying DNA with Multiarm Priming and Looping Optimization of Nucleic Acid), which could offer faster and more accurate identification of pathogens (Advanced Materials).

Plus, a new tool has been developed that determines the role of individual genes in disease, and how groups of genes contribute to risk. This alternative to GWAS could improve our understanding of the heritability of traits and disease (Nature Genetics).

What else has been going on this week?

Infants born as a result of a frozen embryo transfer have similar metabolic profiles to those born after a fresh transfer. This is in contrast to previous studies that have shown that children born via frozen transfers were at higher risk of metabolic disorders (PLOS Medicine).

Preliminary results of an ongoing gene therapy trial for hereditary deafness in children have shown that the treatment is safe and effective (Nature Medicine).

Check out last week’s Week in Brief here.