News Archive

News Archive

New deep learning technique offers a more accurate approach to single-cell genomics

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New deep learning technique offers a more accurate approach to single-cell genomics

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.

How genetic mutations affect development more complex than previously thought

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How genetic mutations affect development more complex than previously thought

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.

Single-cell sequencing reveals immune cell coordination breaks down with ageing

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Single-cell sequencing reveals immune cell coordination breaks down with ageing

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.

New tool allows analysis of single-cell RNA data in pre-malignant tumours

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New tool allows analysis of single-cell RNA data in pre-malignant tumours

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.

New stem cell method produces millions of human brain and muscle cells in days

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New stem cell method produces millions of human brain and muscle cells in days

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.

First mutations in human life discovered

Dividing mouse embryo cells

First mutations in human life discovered

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.

Novel genes identified that help suppress prostate and other cancers

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Novel genes identified that help suppress prostate and other cancers

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.

1 in 5 patients with breast cancer could benefit from existing treatment, genetic study reveals

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1 in 5 patients with breast cancer could benefit from existing treatment, genetic study reveals

Study shows that a greater number of breast cancers are genetically similar to rarer cases with faulty BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes

Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators have discovered that a greater number of breast cancers are genetically similar to rarer cases with faulty BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. The results published today (13 March) in Nature Medicine open up the possibility of up to 20 per cent of women being treated with PARP inhibitors, a class of drug previously only thought to be effective for women with an inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

Matt Hurles appointed as new Head of Human Genetics Programme

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Matt Hurles appointed as new Head of Human Genetics Programme

Dr Matt Hurles, leader of the DDD Programme and co-founder of Institute spin-out Congenica, has been confirmed as the new Head of the Human Genetics Programme

On Tuesday 7 March Dr Matt Hurles accepted the permanent position of Head of the Human Genetics Programme. Dr Hurles joined the Sanger Institute in 2003 as a member of Faculty to pursue his interest in understanding the genetic causes underlying severe developmental disorders, and understanding how DNA mutations arise as it is passed from generation to generation.

Role models recognised for supporting women in science

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Role models recognised for supporting women in science

Eleftheria Zeggini of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Helen Parkinson of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have been recognised for their work in promoting gender equality on the Wellcome Genome Campus

Two staff members were recognised by Mike Stratton, Ewan Birney and Rolf Apweiler today, International Women’s Day (8 March) for their efforts in supporting women in science, in the third annual Wellcome Genome Campus Best Practice Award.

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