Current Genome News and Events

Current Genome News and Events, Genome News Articles.
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Largest comprehensive Middle East GWAS reveals Arab genetic risk factors
A new study in Nature Communications confirms that the existing global dataset of human genomes, which overrepresent European populations, does not accurately reveal the genetic architecture of diseases affecting Arab populations in the Middle East. The Qatar Foundation-led study of genetic variants across more than 6,000 individuals in Qatar is largest of its kind and a foundation for implementing precision medicine in the Middle East. (2021-02-23)

Tweaking corn kernels with CRISPR
Corn has a highly complex genome, making it a challenge to apply genome-editing techniques to it. CSHL Professor David Jackson and postdoctoral fellow Lei Liu used CRISPR to tinker with the corn genome promoter regions and modify stem cell growth. They figured out which sections influence kernel yield, and they hope to make targeted genome-editing in corn more precise and efficient. (2021-02-22)

'Jumping genes' repeatedly form new genes over evolution
A study, 'Recurrent Evolution of Vertebrate Transcription Factors by Transposase Capture,' published Feb. 19 in Science, investigates how genetic elements called transposons, or ''jumping genes,'' are added into the mix during evolution to assemble new genes through exon shuffling. (2021-02-22)

Don't focus on genetic diversity to save our species
Scientists at the University of Adelaide have challenged the common assumption that genetic diversity of a species is a key indicator of extinction risk. Published in the journal PNAS, the scientists demonstrate that there is no simple relationship between genetic diversity and species survival. But, Dr João Teixeira and Dr Christian Huber from the University of Adelaide's School of Biological Sciences conclude, the focus shouldn't be on genetic diversity anyway, it should be on habitat protection. (2021-02-22)

Advancing understanding of hop genome to aid brewers, medical researchers
Oregon State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers have significantly expanded the understanding of the hop genome, a development with important implications for the brewing industry and scientists who study the potential medical benefits of hops. (2021-02-21)

Sex that is not for reproduction
Conjugation (or mating) of ciliates is a unique phenomenon among living beings. They have sex not for reproduction or pleasure - they seek to increase genetic variation. Scientists from St Petersburg University, together with colleagues from Poland and France, have studied the mating process in five sibling species of the Paramecium aurelia complex. Their findings enabled them to describe genetic mechanisms behind this phenomenon. (2021-02-19)

First multi-whole-genome study of IBD in African Americans
In African Americans, the genetic risk landscape for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is very different from that of people with European ancestry, according to results of the first whole-genome study of IBD in African Americans. The authors say that future clinical research on IBD needs to take ancestry into account. (2021-02-19)

New research identifies biological causes of muscle weakness in later life
A new largescale genetic analysis has found biological mechanisms that contribute to making people more susceptible to muscle weakness in later life, finding that diseases such as osteoarthritis and diabetes may play a large role in susceptibility. (2021-02-11)

New improved dog reference genome will aid a new generation of investigation
Researchers at Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences have used new methods for DNA sequencing and annotation to build a new, and more complete, dog reference genome. This tool will serve as the foundation for a new era of research, helping scientists to better understand the link between DNA and disease, in dogs and in their human friends. The research is presented in the journal Communications Biology. (2021-02-10)

Unusual DNA folding increases the rates of mutations
DNA sequences that can fold into shapes other than the classic double helix tend to have higher mutation rates than other regions in the human genome. New research shows that the elevated mutation rate in these sequences plays a major role in determining regional variation in mutation rates across the genome. (2021-02-09)

Not a living fossil: How the Coelacanth recently evolved dozens of new genes
The research shows the dramatic effect traveling DNA can have on the creation of genes and provide a glimpse into some of the forces that shaped the genome of one of the most ancient and mysterious organisms. (2021-02-09)

Researchers develop platform to identify cancer mutations that may be responsive to drug therapies
A Cleveland Clinic-led team of researchers has developed a personalized genomic medicine platform that will help advance accelerate genomic medicine research and genome-informed drug discovery, according to new study results published recently in Genome Biology. (2021-02-08)

NUI Galway demonstrate the promise of precision genomics in cancer treatment
Researchers at NUI Galway have identified genomic signatures in women developing the most common type of breast cancer that can be associated with long-term survival. The NUI Galway team analysed the genomes of breast cancer patients to look for associations with survival rates using advanced statistical techniques. (2021-02-04)

New combination therapy offers chance of healing hepatitis B
Around 260 million people, more than three percent of the global population, are chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV); in the long term, this often leads to complications such as liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. A cure is not yet possible with the available medication. Scientists at the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) and the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) have now investigated a new combination therapy that has proven highly effective in their infection model. (2021-02-04)

Special Issue: Human genome at 20
In February 2001, the first drafts of the human genome were published. (2021-02-04)

Thoughts on plant genomes
The growing world population and the challenges posed by climate change make the control of these natural resources one of the most crucial issues for all humanity in the future. In this regard, genome sequence information is of fundamental importance for understanding natural diversity and evolution of living organisms as well as for the design of breeding strategies aimed to produce new varieties with suitable traits. (2021-02-03)

The underestimated mutation potential of retrogenes
mRNA molecules from retrogenes are reverse transcribed to DNA and incorporated into the genome. (2021-02-02)

Glitch in genome architecture may cause B-cell malignancies
Restoring an enzyme that maintains the way chromosomes are packed inside cells may lead to new therapies for some blood cancers, according to a new study by Columbia researchers. (2021-02-01)

Constructing the first version of the Japanese reference genome
The Japanese now have their own reference genome thanks to researchers at Tohoku University who completed and released the first Japanese reference genome (JG1). (2021-01-29)

Brain 3D genome study uncovers human-specific regulatory changes during development
A team led by Prof. SU Bing from the Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Prof. LI Cheng from Peking University, and Prof. ZHANG Shihua from the Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science of CAS has reported the highest resolution by far of the 3D genome of the primate brain, and demonstrated the molecular regulatory mechanisms of human brain evolution through cross-species multi-omics analysis and experimental validation. (2021-01-28)

'You say tomato, I say genomics': Genome sequences for two wild tomato ancestors
A research team led by University of Tsukuba has produced genome sequences for two wild species of tomato from South America, ancestors of the cultivated tomato. The ancestral species contain thousands of genes that are not present in modern types. The novel genes will help plant breeders produce new tomatoes with features like improved disease resistance, increased tolerance for the changing climate, and improved flavor and shelf-life. (2021-01-27)

Genome-editing tool TALEN outperforms CRISPR-Cas9 in tightly packed DNA
Researchers used single-molecule imaging to compare the genome-editing tools CRISPR-Cas9 and TALEN. Their experiments revealed that TALEN is up to five times more efficient than CRISPR-Cas9 in parts of the genome, called heterochromatin, that are densely packed. Fragile X syndrome, sickle cell anemia, beta-thalassemia and other diseases are the result of genetic defects in the heterochromatin. (2021-01-27)

Researchers identify genetic dependencies in tumors that have undergone whole genome doubling
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified proteins that are essential for the viability of whole genome doubled tumor cells, yet non-essential to normal cells that comprise the majority of human tissue. (2021-01-27)

Meta-Apo supports cheaper, quicker microbiome functional assessment
A new algorithm called Meta-Apo, developed by researchers led by JING Gongchao of the Qingdao Institute of BioEnergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) may reduce the need for expensive, time-consuming whole-genome sequencing computations to understand how a microbiome functions. (2021-01-22)

UMD researcher expands plant genome editing with newly engineered variant of CRISPR-Cas9
Recently named a Web of Science 2020 Highly Cited Researcher, Yiping Qi of the University of Maryland already has a new high-profile publication in 2021 introducing SpRY, a newly engineered variant of the famed gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9. SpRY removes the barriers of what can and can't be targeted for gene editing, making it possible for the first time to target nearly any genomic sequence in plants for potential mutation. (2021-01-22)

Why remdesivir does not fully stop the coronavirus
Their results explain why the drug has a rather weak effect (2021-01-18)

What the lungfishes' genome teaches us about the vertebrates' conquest of land
The genome of the Australian lungfish is the largest sequenced animal genome and helps us to better understand the conquest of land by vertebrates - study led by evolutionary biologists from the University of Konstanz (2021-01-18)

CCNY's David Lohman finds Asian butterfly mimics different species as defense mechanism
Many animal and insect species use Batesian mimicry - mimicking a poisonous species - as a defense against predators. The common palmfly, Elymnias hypermnestra (a species of satyrine butterfly), which is found throughout wide areas of tropical and subtropical Asia, adds a twist to this evolutionary strategy: the females evolved two distinct forms, either orange or dark brown, imitating two separate poisonous model species, Danaus or Euploea. (2021-01-14)

New molecular structures associated with ALS
Researchers from the University of Seville and the University of Pavia have identified a link between Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and the accumulation of DNA-RNA hybrids in the genome. The accumulation of these hybrids causes increased genomic damage and boosts genetic instability. This finding will make it possible to better understand the molecular basis of the disease, as well as to propose new solutions to curb it. (2021-01-13)

Inferring human genomes at a fraction of the cost promises to boost biomedical research
A new method, developed by Olivier Delaneau's group at the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the University of Lausanne, offers game-changing possibilities for genetic association studies and biomedical research. For less than $1 in computational cost, GLIMPSE is able to statistically infer a complete human genome from a very small amount of data. It offers a first realistic alternative to current approaches, and so allows a wider inclusion of underrepresented populations. (2021-01-13)

Chloroplasts on the move
How different plants can share their genetic material with each other (2021-01-11)

Breakthrough on diarrhea virus opens up for new vaccines
Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden have for the first time at the atomic level succeeded in mapping what a virus looks like that causes diarrhea and annually kills about 50,000 children in the world. The discovery may in the long run provide the opportunity for completely new types of treatments for other viral diseases such as COVID-19. (2021-01-11)

Genomes reveal insights into much-loved Aussie animals
Researchers have brought together expertise in bioinformatics, cytogenetics, developmental and molecular biology to produce and analyse the first ever echidna genome and a greatly improved, high quality platypus genome sequence. (2021-01-07)

Unusual sex chromosomes of platypus, emu and duck
Three studies uncovered the unusual sex chromosomes of platypus, emu and Peking duck. Platypus have five pairs of sex chromosomes forming an unusual chain shape, while the sex chromosomes of emu and duck are not as different between sexes as those of human. The studies were led or co-led by Qi Zhou's group at the University of Vienna and Zhejiang University of China and are published as research papers in the journals Nature, Genome Research and GigaScience. (2021-01-07)

Integrator: A guardian of the human transcriptome
In a joint collaboration, Danish and German researchers have characterized a cellular activity that protects our cells from potentially toxic by-products of gene expression. This activity is central for the ability of multicellular organisms to uphold a robust evolutionary 'reservoir' of gene products. (2021-01-05)

New mammal reference genome helps ID genetic variants for human health
A new reference genome assembly identified more than 85 million genetic variants in the rhesus macaque, the largest database of genetic variation for any one nonhuman primate species to date. (2020-12-23)

Fungal RNA viruses: Unexpected complexity affecting more than your breakfast omelet
Traditional approaches for studying fungal RNA viruses have relied upon sequence similarity, resulting in an underestimation of RNA viral genome diversity. Researchers from the University of Tsukuba used an advanced technological approach called Fragmented and Primer Ligated Double Stranded RNA sequencing, or FLDS, to identify viral sequences that were previously overlooked. They identified novel viruses and viral genome structures and show that FLDS is a powerful tool for understanding RNA viral genome diversity. (2020-12-21)

HSE researchers use neural networks to study DNA
HSE scientists have proposed a way to improve the accuracy of finding Z-DNA, or DNA regions that are twisted to the left instead of to the right. To do this, they used neural networks and a dataset of more than 30,000 experiments conducted by different laboratories around the world. Details of the study are published in Scientific Reports. (2020-12-17)

Improved macaque genome enhances biomedical utility
Using advanced sequencing technology, researchers present a new, improved and far more complete reference genome for the rhesus macaque - one of the most important animal models in biomedical research. (2020-12-17)

Scientists found out genes involved in a compound in lichens with antiviral activity
Lichens are of great importance both ecologically and as a biological model. These organisms produce a wide range of secondary metabolites, including usnic acid, a compound with unknown biological function but which in-vitro studies have found to present antiviral, neuroprotective and anti-cancer activity. An international research team led by the Complutense University of Madrid has identified the cluster of biosynthetic genes involved in the production of this compound. (2020-12-11)

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