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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 7th November

A week filled with election tension and lockdown anger! But here at Front Line Genomics, we have made one thing easy for you with our latest update on genomics news and research from the past week.  

Top stories from the past week

  • Using gene sequencing and machine learning, researchers have created a developmental atlas of gene expression in neurons. (Desplan et al, 2020)
  • Researchers have developed a model for analysing tumour heterogeneity from rich spatial transcriptomic data available from pathology whole-slide images. The model was able to link tumour heterogeneity to survival in breast and lung cancer. (Yakhini et al, 2020)
  • Cas9 nucleases from type II CRISPR-Cas antiviral defence systems in bacteria have been repurposed for genome editing. However, researchers only use a handful of variants for these applications. Researchers have now characterised a subset of Cas9 orthologues, expanding the available toolset of nucleases. (Siksnys et al, 2020)
  • Researchers using ATAC-seq found that open chromatin regions in glutamatergic neurons were enriched for neuropsychiatric risk variants, particularly those linked with schizophrenia. (Roussos et al, 2020)
  • A new analysis has shown that HPV vaccines are safe and well tolerated in the male population. (Motola et al, 2020)
  • Trench fever was first observed among British Expeditionary Forces in 1915 and impacted an estimated 500,000 soldiers during WWI. New research has uncovered evidence of the disease that predates this period. (Aboudharam et al, 2020
  • Finding the right model to study human development is an ongoing challenge for scientists. Now bioengineers have homed in on teratomas as a model for studying human development processes. (Mali et al, 2020)
  • A team of researchers have presented a list of host variables that they recommend should be captured in human microbiota studies for the purpose of matching comparison groups. They anticipate that this will increase robustness and reproducibility. (Belkaid et al, 2020)
  • NIH researchers have discovered a gene in mice that controls the craving for fatty and sugary foods and the desire to exercise. Their findings could inform future research on human obesity. (Stratakis et al, 2020)
  • A team of scientists have demonstrated that the production of a protein – Protrudin – could promote regeneration and protect cells from death after injury. (Fawcett et al, 2020)

In other news

  • FDA staff appeared to endorse Biogen’s monoclonal antibody treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. If approved, this would become the first new Alzheimer’s therapy in nearly two decades. (FDA, 2020)
  • Researchers have stopped a clinical trial of a gene therapy for Angelman syndrome after two participants lost the ability to walk. (Guglielmi, 2020)


  • Join us for the second webinar in our ‘Single Cell ONLINE’ virtual four-part series. In this webinar, we will be exploring the latest advancements in single-cell omics. Join us on Thursday 12th November at 3pm GMT/ 4pm CET/ 10am EDT. Register now.

More on these topics

Genomics / Machine Learning / Tumour / Week in brief