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Genomics week in brief: Week ending 8th July

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

Top stories from the past week:

  • Somatic mutations that occur in utero are linked to schizophrenia onset in adulthood (Cell Genomics).
  • Scientists have discovered proteomic signatures associated with different forms of Alzheimer’s disease (Science Translational Medicine).
  • A protein target has been identified that is active in melanoma cells and helps them grow. The finding could lead to targeted therapies for the disease (Science Advances).
  • An anti-sense therapy has been used to restore protein production in Fragile X patient cells (PNAS).
  • Certain immune response genes are activated in children who develop type I diabetes, but not in adults (Diabetic Medicine).
  • Genes that were previously seen to be influenced by environmental factors, such as diet, are also linked to inflammatory bowel disease (eLife).
  • Sleeping well can mitigate the effect of an Alzheimer’s-related gene variant that is predominantly found in African-American individuals (Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease).
  • Scientists have developed an approach to genetically modify malaria-spreading mosquitos in a bid to prevent the lethal disease (Science Advances).
  • Researchers have produced 3D images of embryos for the first time. This new approach could improve the IVF process, allowing for the strongest embryos to be selected for transfer without the need for invasive biopsies and DNA tests (Biomedical Optics Express).
  • Hepatitis C ‘masks’ one end of its genome with a molecule that already exists in our cells. Consequently, the virus can replicate without detection by the immune system (Nature).
  • Eliminating extra chromosomes in cancer cells impairs the growth of the tumour (Science).
  • Scientists have developed a urine test that can successfully detect cell-free DNA from cancer cells (Biosensors and Bioelectronics).
  • A new ‘capping’ method has been developed that ensures only single-stranded RNA makes its way into mRNA vaccines, potentially improving the efficacy of the technology (Nature Communications).

In other news:

  • This week, we celebrated the 75th birthday of the NHS! The milestone was marked by nationwide events highlighting the extraordinary work of the NHS over the years (NHS England).
  • Patients in Hereford are set to benefit from the use of surgical robots that can mimic the movement of surgeons and perform minimally invasive procedures (BBC).
  • And speaking of robots, a 77-year-old woman is recovering after robotic arms were successfully used during a colon removal (BBC).