25 Apr 2017

Genetically identical mice develop different smell receptors in response to their environments

Researchers have shown that receptors in the noses of mice exposed to certain smells during life are different to genetically similar mice that lived without those smells. It is this combination of genetics and experience that gives each individual a unique sense of smell.

13 Apr 2017

Researchers have discovered that mice’s DNA ages in a similar way to humans

Published in Genome Biology, researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Babraham Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute reveal that mice have a similar epigenetic ageing clock to humans, providing a great laboratory model to explore how the clock works.

12 Apr 2017

Some people are naturally missing one of their 20,000 genes - and sometimes the results can be beneficial, pointing to new drug therapies

In an international collaboration published in Nature, researchers have identified individuals with natural gene-disrupting mutations - who have a gene that has been "knocked out" -  and systematically studied the biological consequences. The project provides a framework for using naturally-occurring genetic variation to gain vaulable insights into how individual genes affect health and disease.

11 Apr 2017

Turning off the same gene in mice can result in different physical changes, despite similar genetic backgrounds

A large-scale study, published in Wellcome Open Research and which passed peer review today (11 April), has shown that inactivating the same gene in mouse embryos that are virtually genetically identical can result in a wide range of different physical features or abnormalities. This suggests that the relationship between gene mutation and consequence is more complex than previously suspected.

11 Apr 2017

Scientists are using the emerging technology of deep learning to fill in the missing gaps of single-cell genomic analysis

A new ‘deep learning’ method, DeepCpG, has been designed by researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the European Bioinformatics Institute and the Babraham Institute to help scientists better understand the epigenome – the biochemical activity around the genome. Reported today in Genome Biology, DeepCpG leverages ‘deep neural networks’, a multi-layered machine learning model inspired by the brain, and provides a valuable tool for research into health and disease. 

30 Mar 2017

T cells from older mice were more variable and less coordinated 

As the immune system ages, its response to infection weakens. Using single-cell RNA sequencing technology, researchers from the European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge Cancer Research UK–Cambridge Institute, show that immune cells in older tissues lack coordination and have more variable gene expression compared with their younger counterparts.

27 Mar 2017

Single Cell Consensus Clustering (SC3) tool more accurate and robust than previous methods for sorting cells into groups

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute scientists and their collaborators have developed a new analysis tool that showed, for the first time, which genes were expressed by individual cells in different genetic versions of a benign blood cancer. Reported in Nature Methods today (27 March 2017), the new computer tool - Single Cell Consensus Clustering (SC3) - was shown to be more accurate and robust than previous methods of analysing single-cell RNA sequence data, and is freely available for researchers to use.

23 Mar 2017

The new platform technology, OPTi-OX, optimises the way of switching on genes in human stem cells

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute scientists and their collaborators at the University of Cambridge have created a new technique that simplifies the production of human brain and muscle cells - allowing millions of functional cells to be generated in just a few days. The results published today (23 March) in Stem Cell Reports open the door to producing a diversity of new cell types that could not be made before in order to study disease.

Dividing mouse embryo cells

22 Mar 2017

Archaeological traces of embryo development seen in adult cells

Analysing genomes from adult cells, Sanger Institute and their collaborators have been able to look back in time to reveal how each embryo developed. Published in Nature today (22 March 2017), the research shows that one of the cells from the two-cell stage of the human embryo, becomes more dominant than the other and ultimately makes up a higher proportion of the adult body.

20 Mar 2017

Study reveals possible drug targets for cancers with a faulty PTEN gene

Cooperating genes and pathways found for tumour suppressor gene PTEN. These are possible drug targets for cancers with a faulty PTEN gene.