Genetics and environment combine to give everyone a unique sense of smell
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.
Mouse’s internal clock could reveal the secrets of ageing
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.
Some genes are less helpful than others
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.
New deep learning technique offers a more accurate approach to single-cell genomics
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.
How genetic mutations affect development more complex than previously thought
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.
Single-cell sequencing reveals immune cell coordination breaks down with ageing
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.
New tool allows analysis of single-cell RNA data in pre-malignant tumours
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.
New stem cell method produces millions of human brain and muscle cells in days
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.
First mutations in human life discovered
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.