News Archive

News Archive

Origins of immune system mapped, opening doors for new cancer immunotherapies

Section of a developing human thymus

Origins of immune system mapped, opening doors for new cancer immunotherapies

Cell atlas of human thymus could help engineer improved therapeutic T cells

A first cell atlas of the human thymus gland could lead to new immune therapies to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases. Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Newcastle University and Ghent University, Belgium, mapped thymus tissue through the human lifespan to understand how it develops and makes vital immune cells called T cells.

Otter genome to help understand genetic legacy of pollution crisis and secure species’ future

Eurasian otter on the Isle of Mull

Otter genome to help understand genetic legacy of pollution crisis and secure species’ future

Genome will unlock wealth of data stored in DNA archives in bid to understand response to environmental changes

One of Britain’s best-loved mammals is set to receive a boost with the sequencing and release of the first high-quality Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) genome by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, in partnership with the Cardiff University Otter Project.

Gut bacteria’s interactions with immune system mapped

Illustration of large intestine

Gut bacteria’s interactions with immune system mapped

Cell atlas could reveal why some gut diseases affect specific areas

The first detailed cell atlas of the immune cells and gut bacteria within the human colon has been created by researchers. The study from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and collaborators revealed different immune niches, showing changes in the bacterial microbiome and immune cells throughout the colon.

Cancer-causing culprits will be caught by their DNA fingerprints

Skin cancer cells

Cancer-causing culprits will be caught by their DNA fingerprints

Study within Pan-Cancer Project will help research into cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatments

Causes of cancer are being catalogued by a huge international study revealing the genetic fingerprints of DNA-damaging processes that drive cancer development. Part of the global Pan-Cancer Project published in Nature today, this detailed list of genetic fingerprints will provide clues how each cancer developed. This will help scientists search for previously unknown causes of cancer, leading to better information for prevention strategies, and help signpost new directions for cancer diagnosis and treatments.

Comprehensive study finds mutations in non-coding genome are infrequent drivers of cancer

Lung cancer cells

Comprehensive study finds mutations in non-coding genome are infrequent drivers of cancer

Findings suggest efforts to develop new cancer treatments should primarily focus on protein-coding genes

A clearer picture of how DNA changes lead to cancer has emerged, following the most comprehensive evaluation of non-coding driver mutations. The study, published in Nature as part of the global Pan-Cancer Project discovered several new cancer drivers in non-coding genes. The overall conclusion, however, reaffirms that the vast majority of cancer drivers occur in protein-coding regions of the human genome.  This knowledge will help to focus efforts on discovering new causes and treatments for cancer.

Unprecedented exploration generates most comprehensive map of cancer genomes charted to date

Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes project team

Unprecedented exploration generates most comprehensive map of cancer genomes charted to date

Pan-Cancer Project discovers causes of previously unexplained cancers, pinpoints cancer-causing events and zeroes in on mechanisms of development

The ICGC/TCGA Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG), known as the Pan-Cancer Project, is the largest and most comprehensive study of whole cancer genomes yet. The collaboration involving more than 1,300 scientists and clinicians from 37 countries, analysed more than 2,600 genomes of 38 different tumour types, and has created a huge resource of primary cancer genomes, available to researchers worldwide to advance cancer research

Background information about the ICGC/TCGA Pan-Cancer Project

Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes

Background information about the ICGC/TCGA Pan-Cancer Project

Overview of the Pan-Cancer Project

The ICGC/TCGA Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG), known as the Pan-Cancer Project, is an international collaboration to identify common patterns of mutation in more than 2,600 whole cancer genomes from the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). It builds upon the previous work of those initiatives, which predominantly concentrated on the regions of the genome that code for proteins.

Red and grey squirrel genomes could hold the key to the survival of reds in Britain and Ireland

Red squirrels are at risk of disappearing from Britain and Ireland

Red and grey squirrel genomes could hold the key to the survival of reds in Britain and Ireland

Susceptibility to squirrel pox and genetic fitness of fragmented populations are key questions for red squirrel researchers

New hope for the preservation of red squirrels in Britain and Ireland is on the horizon, after the completion of the red and grey squirrel reference genomes by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators. The genomes may hold clues to why grey squirrels are immune to squirrel pox, a disease that is fatal to most red squirrels.

Tailor-made vaccines could almost halve rates of serious bacterial disease

Illustration of streptococcus pneumoniae

Tailor-made vaccines could almost halve rates of serious bacterial disease

Innovative study points the way to more effective vaccine design

New research has found that rates of disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae could be substantially reduced by changing our approach to vaccination. Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Simon Fraser University in Canada and Imperial College London combined genomic data, models of bacterial evolution and predictive modelling to identify how vaccines could be optimised for specific age groups, geographic regions and communities of bacteria.

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