2 May 2016

Discovery of mutations paves the way for personalised treatment of breast cancer

The largest-ever study to sequence the whole genomes of breast cancers has uncovered five new genes associated with the disease and 13 new mutational signatures that influence tumour development. The results of two papers published in Nature and Nature Communications also reveal what genetic variations exist in breast cancers and where they occur in the genome. This paves the way for personalised treatment of breast cancer.

25 Apr 2016

Y chromosomes bear the marks of a series of explosive increases in male numbers linked to human development

The largest ever study of global genetic variation in the human Y chromosome has uncovered the hidden history of men. Research published today in Nature Genetics reveals explosions in male population numbers in five continents, occurring at times between 55 thousand and four thousand years ago.

19 Apr 2016

The Centre for Therapeutic Target Validation - now called ‘Open Targets’ - releases its first experimental datasets from consortium experiments and a new API (application programming interface), demonstrating its commitment to sharing data.

Hinxton, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 19 April 2016 – Following the successful launch of its Target Validation platform at the end of 2015, the Centre for Therapeutic Target Validation has released its first open experimental datasets. Now renamed Open Targets, the pioneering public–private initiative remains committed to speeding up the discovery of new medicines.

17 Apr 2016

New Orleans – (April 17, 2016) The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) today announced plans to launch the International Cancer Genome Consortium for Medicine (ICGCmed) a new phase in the Consortium’s evolution that will link genomics to clinical information and health.

The collaborative project will build upon the vast database of genomic discoveries of the ICGC, which, since its launch in 2007, has been mapping 25,000 different cancer genomes in 50 different tumour types and making this data freely available to qualified researchers around the world.

7 Apr 2016

Therapeutic stem cells can be made without introducing genetic changes that could later lead to cancer, a study in PLoS Genetics has found

It is the first time scientists have tracked the genetic mutations gathered by induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells as they are grown in the laboratory. The discovery, made by researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, is a boost for scientists working on ways to make regenerative medicines from iPS cells; a type of stem cell made by reprogramming healthy body cells. 

6 Apr 2016

Volunteers will use some of the latest genomic technologies to help understand the spread of the Spanish bluebell

The Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement team has joined forces with the Eden Project and The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire to launch the first ‘Bluebell Barcoding Day’ today (Wednesday 6 April), which will help track the threat to English bluebells from an invasive Spanish variety.

29 Mar 2016

Study shows that abnormal cells within embryos can be killed off by programmed cell death, and replaced by normal cells for healthy embryo development

Abnormal cells in the early embryo are not necessarily a sign that a baby will be born with a birth defect such as Down’s syndrome, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Leuven, Belgium. In the journal Nature Communications, scientists show that abnormal cells are eliminated and replaced by healthy cells, repairing – and in many cases completely fixing – the embryo.

24 Mar 2016

Although they seem to be identical, the cells of a two-day-old embryo are already beginning to display subtle differences

Using the latest sequencing technologies to model embryo development in mice, researchers looked at the activity of individual genes at a single cell level. The activity of one gene in particular, Sox21, differed the most between cells. When this gene’s activity was reduced, the activity of a master regulator that directs cells to develop into the placenta increased.

23 Mar 2016

Sanger Institute's stem cells pipeline contributes HiPSCi cell lines to international resource.

EBiSC, the European Bank for induced pluripotent Stem Cells, has launched its on-line catalogue of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) for academic and commercial use in modelling disease and for other forms of pre-clinical research. (

22 Mar 2016

For drug resistance, sometimes it just takes two (extra DNA base pairs)

In eLife, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute scientists identify how certain strains of the fatal neglected tropical parasite Leishmania donovani have become immune to drug treatment. The addition of just two bases of DNA to the gene LdAQP1 stops the organism from absorbing antimonial drugs.