News Archive - 2018

News Archive - 2018

Human cell atlas study reveals how the maternal immune system is modified early in pregnancy

Human cell atlas study reveals how the maternal immune system is modified early in pregnancy

Human cell atlas study reveals how the maternal immune system is modified early in pregnancy

Cell map of healthy pregnancy could also help understand miscarriages or preeclampsia

To understand how the mother's immune system is modified to allow both mother and developing fetus to exist, researchers studied more than 70,000 single cells from first trimester pregnancies. They discovered that the fetal and maternal cells were using signals to talk to each other, and this conversation enabled the maternal immune system to support fetal growth.

Recessive genes explain only small fraction of undiagnosed developmental disorders

Recessive genes explain only small fraction of undiagnosed developmental disorders

Recessive genes explain only small fraction of undiagnosed developmental disorders

Study will guide research and help estimate risk for future pregnancies

The Deciphering Developmental Disorders study has discovered that only a small fraction of rare, undiagnosed developmental disorders in the British Isles are caused by recessive genes. Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute estimated only 5 per cent of the patients had inherited a disease-causing gene mutation from both parents, far fewer than previously thought.

Largest parasitic worm genetic study hatches novel treatment possibilities

Largest parasitic worm genetic study hatches novel treatment possibilities. Image credit: Dave Goulding, Wellcome Sanger Institute, Genome Research Limited

Largest parasitic worm genetic study hatches novel treatment possibilities

Study helps understand how parasitic worms cause disease and uncovers potential new de-worming drugs

The largest genomic study of parasitic worms to date identified hundreds of thousands of new genes and predicted many new potential drug targets and drugs. Research from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and collaborators will help scientists understand how these parasites invade, evade the immune system and cause disease. Reported in Nature Genetics today (5 November), the study could lead to new de-worming treatments to help prevent and treat diseases caused by parasitic worms worldwide.

Launch of global effort to read genetic code of all complex life on earth

Launch of global effort to read genetic code of all complex life on earth

Launch of global effort to read genetic code of all complex life on earth

The project aims to create a new foundation for biology to drive solutions for preserving biodiversity and sustaining human societies

The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), a global effort to sequence the genetic code, or genomes, of all 1.5 million known animal, plant, protozoan and fungal species on Earth, officially launched on 1 November) as key scientific partners and funders from around the globe gathered in London, UK to discuss progress in organising and funding the project

Genetic code of 66,000 UK species to be sequenced

Genetic code of 66,000 UK species to be sequenced

Genetic code of 66,000 UK species to be sequenced

The Darwin Tree of Life Project, led by the Wellcome Sanger Institute, plans to read the genomes all known species of animals, birds, fish and plants in the UK

The Sanger Institute will serve as the genomics hub in the UK and will collaborate with the Natural History Museum in London, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Earlham Institute, Edinburgh Genomics, University of Edinburgh, EMBL-EBI and others in sample collection, DNA sequencing, assembling and annotating genomes and storing the data

Result of independent investigation into whistleblowing allegations released

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Result of independent investigation into whistleblowing allegations released

Independent barrister's report concludes that no wrongdoing took place, but that Institute procedures could be improved

The report, conducted by Thomas Kibling, at the respected law firm Matrix Chambers, has now been published (Tuesday 30 October).

Study reveals how gene activity shapes immunity across species

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Study reveals how gene activity shapes immunity across species

More than 250,000 single cells studied to chart evolution of antiviral and antibacterial immunity

Researchers studied the gene activity from more than a quarter of a million single cells to show how the innate immune response varies between cells and species. The study in Nature looked in unprecedented detail at the genes activated in response to a pathogen invasion, to chart the evolution of antiviral and antibacterial immunity across six mammalian species.

Largest census of cancer genes to help understand drug targets

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Largest census of cancer genes to help understand drug targets

Cancer Gene Census paves the way for improvements in personalised medicine

The first comprehensive summary of all genes known to be involved in cancer describes how they function in terms of ten Hallmarks of Cancer. Reported in Nature Reviews Cancer, the Cancer Gene Census catalogues over 700 genes, to help scientists understand the causes of cancers, find drug targets and design treatments.

Sanofi joins Open Targets

Sanofi joins Open Targets consortium

Sanofi joins Open Targets

Unique public-private consortium to identify and prioritise therapeutic targets for new medicines using genomics, bioinformatics and traditional pharmaceutical research gains a new partner

Open Targets announced today (29 October) that Sanofi has joined its pioneering public-private collaboration to transform drug discovery by improving the success rate for developing new medicines. Sanofi’s expertise in immunology, oncology, neurosciences and diabetes will complement the offerings of the current partners GSK, Biogen, Takeda, Celgene, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI).

Mutant cells colonise our tissues over our lifetime

On average, healthy cells in the oesophagus carry at least several hundred mutations per cell in people in their twenties, rising to over 2,000 mutations per cell later in life

Mutant cells colonise our tissues over our lifetime

Scientists may need to rethink the role of some cancer genes in the light of sequencing normal tissues

By the time we reach middle age, more than half of the oesophagus in healthy people has been taken over by cells carrying mutations in cancer genes, scientists have uncovered. By studying normal oesophagus tissue, scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge and their collaborators uncovered a hidden world of mutations and evolution in our tissues as we age .

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