News Archive - 2016

News Archive - 2016

Bugs as drugs

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Bugs as drugs

Harnessing novel gut bacteria for human health

Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have grown and catalogued more than 130 bacteria from the human intestine. Published in Nature, this research will enable scientists to understand how our bacterial ‘microbiome’ helps keep us healthy and start to create tailor-made treatments with specific beneficial bacteria.

Five new breast cancer genes found

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Five new breast cancer genes found

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.

Modern DNA reveals ancient male population explosions linked to migration and technology

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Modern DNA reveals ancient male population explosions linked to migration and technology

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.

Open Targets: new name, new data

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Open Targets: new name, new data

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.

International Cancer Genome Consortium for Medicine (ICGCmed) will link genomics to clinical information and health

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International Cancer Genome Consortium for Medicine (ICGCmed) will link genomics to clinical information and health

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.

Test run finds no cancer risk from stem cell therapy

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Test run finds no cancer risk from stem cell therapy

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.

Scientists and conservation charities join forces to track Spanish bluebell invasion

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Scientists and conservation charities join forces to track Spanish bluebell invasion

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.

Early-stage embryos with abnormalities can still develop into healthy babies

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Early-stage embryos with abnormalities can still develop into healthy babies

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.

Embryo development: Some cells are more equal than others even at four-cell stage

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Embryo development: Some cells are more equal than others even at four-cell stage

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.

Launch of new European Stem Cell Bank

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Launch of new European Stem Cell Bank

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. (https://cells.ebisc.org)

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