News Archive - 2008

News Archive - 2008

Origins of the brain

Origins of the brain

Complex synapses drove brain evolution

One of the great scientific challenges is to understand the design principles and origins of the human brain. New research has shed light on the evolutionary origins of the brain and how it evolved into the remarkably complex structure found in humans.

Mike Stratton, co-Head of Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Elected to the Royal Society

Mike Stratton, co-Head of Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Elected to the Royal Society

Professor Mike Stratton, Deputy Director and Joint Head of the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, has been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society. Professor Stratton is one of the leading cancer researchers in the world.

The Royal Society is the UK's leading scientific organization and today announces the 2008 election of Fellows. The Fellowship of the Royal Society is composed of 1300 of the most distinguished scientists from the United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland.

Connecting Cancer Genes

Connecting Cancer Genes

Study implicates 350 gene regions in cancer development in the mouse

A large genetic study in mice has identified hundreds of genes involved in the development of cancer by examining the DNA of more than 500 lymphomas to find the cancer-causing mutations.

Mutant gene causes epilepsy, intellectual disability in women

Mutant gene causes epilepsy, intellectual disability in women

A mutated gene has been discovered as the key behind families with epilepsy and mental retardation specific to women. The discovery shows that although men can carry the 'bad' gene, only women who carry it are affected.

The gene, called PCDH19, is found on the X chromosome: the expectation would generally be that in these families women, who have two X chromosomes, would be spared the effects of the mutation, because they have one normal copy of PCDH19 as well as the abnormal one. In contrast men, who have only one X chromosome, would be affected by the mutation in their only copy of PCDH19.

Emerging superbug genome sequenced

Emerging superbug genome sequenced

Steno holds a full deck of resistant cards

The genome of a newly-emerging superbug has just been sequenced - that of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia , commonly known as Steno. The results reveal an organism with a remarkable capacity for drug resistance. The research was carried out by scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge and the University of Bristol.

Second Genetic Link to Weight and Obesity

Second Genetic Link to Weight and Obesity

New DNA variants found that can help to pile on the pounds

A study of 90,000 people has uncovered new genetic variants that influence fat mass, weight and risk of obesity. The variants act in addition to the recently described variants of the FTO gene: on average, adults carrying variants in both genes are 3.8 kg (or 8.5 lb) heavier.

Genome Campus has Top Two in the UK

Genome Campus has Top Two in the UK

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and European Bioinformatics Institute top list of most influential UK research

The impact of research reports from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute makes them the top two most influential research institutions in the UK, according to results published this week. In addition, nine of the top 25 most influential UK researchers are current or recent staff at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge, UK, home to the two powerhouse institutes.

Seeing the enemy up close

Seeing the enemy up close

New-technology DNA sequencing boosts cancer genome research

A massive, new-technology DNA sequencing project has uncovered more than 100 novel rearrangements of the DNA of lung cancer cells. The study shows that new sequencing methods are able to capture these changes rapidly and to reveal changes that were not feasible using existing methods.

Global Genetics Consortium Sets Sights On Cancer

Global Genetics Consortium Sets Sights On Cancer

The International Cancer Genome Consortium

Researchers from four continents today announced the launch of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), a major collaboration designed to identify the key genetic mutations involved in up to 50 types of cancer.

Largest ever study of genetics of common disease just got bigger

Largest ever study of genetics of common disease just got bigger

DNA samples from 120,000 people are to be analysed in a £30 million follow up to last year's Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC), the largest ever study of the genetics behind common diseases. The seven-fold increase in the number of samples to be analysed will allow researchers to look at 25 diseases as well as studying the genetics of learning in children and individuals' responses to statins.

Researchers will examine between 500,000 and 1 million variants (SNPs) per sample as well as a comprehensive set of copy number variants (CNVs). Both SNPs and CNVs are responsible for the individual variation in our genomes.​

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