News Archive

News Archive

Low doses of radiation promote cancer-capable cells

p53 mutant cell expansion in mouse oseophageal tissue (mutant cells in red and green)

Low doses of radiation promote cancer-capable cells

New research in mice helps to understand the risks around exposure to low doses of radiation, such as CT scans and x-rays

Low doses of radiation equivalent to three CT scans, which are considered safe, give cancer-capable cells a competitive advantage over normal cells. Researchers studied the effects of low doses of radiation in mice and found it increases the number of cells with mutations in p53, a well-known genetic change associated with cancer. However, giving the mice an antioxidant before radiation promoted the growth of healthy cells, which outcompeted and replaced the p53 mutant cells.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative boosts Human Cell Atlas research at the Sanger Institute

Human Cell Atlas

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative boosts Human Cell Atlas research at the Sanger Institute

Seed Networks projects will focus on specific tissues, such as the thymus, lung, liver, kidney and immune system

Wellcome Sanger Institute researchers will receive funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) for five collaborative projects supporting the Human Cell Atlas (HCA), the global initiative to map every cell type in the human body. These projects will investigate specific tissues in the thymus, lung, liver, kidney and immune system to understand health and what goes wrong in disease.

Widely-available antibiotics could be used in the treatment of ‘superbug’ MRSA

Widely-available antibiotics could be used in the treatment of ‘superbug’ MRSA

Widely-available antibiotics could be used in the treatment of ‘superbug’ MRSA

Genomic analysis shows that a significant number of strains are susceptible to penicillin combined with clavulanic acid

In Nature Microbiology, scientists have identified which gene mutations make MRSA susceptible to a combination of penicillin and clavulanic acid. Analysing the whole-genome sequences of a diverse collection of MRSA strains revealed that a significant number of strains – including USA300 clone, the dominant strain in the United States – would be treatable with this drug combination.

First lung map uncovers new insights into asthma

First lung map uncovers new insights into asthma

First lung map uncovers new insights into asthma

Understanding lung cells and their signals could help towards finding new asthma drug targets

For the first time, researchers have mapped the building blocks of the human lungs and airways, in both asthma patients and normal people. Understanding the cells and their signals could lead to finding new drug targets for treating asthma.

Sanger Institute researcher honoured by EMBO

Professor Nicole Soranzo has been elected as an EMBO Member

Sanger Institute researcher honoured by EMBO

Professor Nicole Soranzo becomes an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization

Professor Nicole Soranzo joins 48 fellow scientists from 17 countries in being elected as Members of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). An additional eight researchers from Argentina, Australia, Japan and the US have become Associate Members of the organisation whose mission is to promote excellence in European molecular life sciences research.

Major stem cell discovery to boost research into development and regenerative medicine

Pig EPSCs (expanded potential stem cells) Image credit: Xuefei Gao

Major stem cell discovery to boost research into development and regenerative medicine

Expanded Potential Stem Cell lines of pig and human cells established

The research from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and collaborators offers incredible potential for studying human development and regenerative medicine. It is the first time scientists have been able to derive stem cells from early pig embryos and will also be beneficial for animal health and food production.

Global Strep A vaccine one step closer

Currently there is no global vaccine for Group A streptococcal bacteria

Global Strep A vaccine one step closer

Streptococcus genomes reveal potential vaccine targets present in over 20 countries worldwide

The search for a global Strep A vaccine has narrowed after researchers sequenced the DNA of more than 2,000 Group A Streptococcus samples from around the world. Researchers identified potential vaccine targets present in strains from all the countries sampled, pointing to the possibility of developing an effective global vaccine against Strep A, one of the top 10 causes of death from infectious diseases worldwide.

Sanger Institute animal research facility to close

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Sanger Institute animal research facility to close

Following a full review, the Sanger Institute will be closing its animal research facility

The difficult decision has been made after consultation with the Sanger Institute board and the Genome Research Limited board, which has representation from Wellcome. The facility is expected to close over the next few years.

CRISPR catches out critical cancer changes

Pancreatic cancer cells: one of 43 types of cancer studied by the Wellcome Sanger Institute for gene fusions

CRISPR catches out critical cancer changes

Researchers reveal which gene fusions are critical for the growth of cancer cells and identify a new drug target for multiple cancers

In the first large-scale analysis of cancer gene fusions, researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators used CRISPR to uncover which gene fusions are critical for the growth of cancer cells. The team also identified a new gene fusion that presents a novel drug target for multiple cancers, including brain and ovarian cancers. The results give more certainty for the use of specific gene fusions to diagnose and guide the treatment of patients.

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