People infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may experience genome structure changes that not only may explain our immunological symptoms after infection, but also potentially link to long COVID, according to a new study by researchers at UTHealth Houston.
UNLV Study Sheds Light on Ancient Microbial Dark Matter
Omnitrophota are nano-sized bacteria first discovered 25 years ago. Though common in many environments around the world, until now they’ve been poorly understood. An international research team produced the first large-scale analysis of Omnitrophota genomes, uncovering new details about their biology and behavior. The team’s findings are reported in the March 16 issue of the journal Nature Microbiology.
New discovery to bulk up gluten-free fibre supplement
Scientists have for the first time constructed the reference genome for the source of the popular fibre supplement, psyllium husk, which could boost supplies of the versatile plant-derived product.
Major Breakthrough As Scientists Sequence The Genomes Of Endangered Sharks
Scientists have sequenced the genomes of Critically Endangered great hammerhead and Endangered shortfin mako sharks for the first time.
Large-Scale Study Led by Fred Hutch Finds New Genetic Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer, Paving the Way for Better Screening, Prevention
A comprehensive analysis of more than 100,000 colorectal cancer (CRC) cases, led by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle and 200 scientific collaborators worldwide, has identified more than 100 new genetic risk factors strongly linked with the disease.
Genome sequencing supports Nile rat animal model for diabetes research
For the first time, researchers have assembled a high-quality reference genome for the Nile rat, a promising model organism for diabetes research.
NSU Professor Honored with The Explorers Club Prestigious Lowell Thomas Award
Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is proud to announce that one of its own – Stephen J O’Brien, Ph.D. – was honored with The Explorers Club’s 2022 Lowell Thomas Award.
Weedy rice has become herbicide resistant through rapid evolution
Biologists used whole-genome sequences of 48 contemporary weedy rice plants to show how herbicide resistance evolved by gene flow from crop rice. Almost all other cases of herbicide resistance in agricultural weeds result from selection of tolerant genotypes in the weed species.
Juicy research unearths new genome within the tomato family
The first full genome in the tomatillo tribe adds to the rich story of the tomato family.
The Locked Library: Disease Causes Cells to Reorder Their DNA Incorrectly
With super-resolution imaging, Penn Medicine researchers discovered that cells change the physical structure of their genome when they’re affected by disease
Study identifies new dementia risk genes through novel testing approach
A new UCLA-led study has identified multiple new risk genes for Alzheimer’s disease and a rare, related brain disorder by using a combination of new testing methods allowing for mass screening of genetic variants in a single experiment.
Seedy, not sweet: Ancient melon genome from Libya yields surprising insights into watermelon relative
Biologists investigated the oldest known seeds from a watermelon relative, dating back 6,000 years. The researchers shared two new genomes of ancient seeds and described how Neolithic humans in Libya likely used the seeds, not the bitter flesh, from the melons.
DNA recombinations are widespread in human genomes and are implicated in both development and disease
Scientists from the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences in Japan in collaboration with other researchers from around the world have discovered that recombinations of specific genomic sequences that are repeated millions of times in the genome of each of our cells are pervasively found in both normal and in disease states. Identifying the mechanisms that lead to this myriad of recombinations involving DNA sequences that were once considered as “junk”, may be crucial to understanding how our cells develop and what can make them unhealthy.
Three New Species of Black-Bellied Salamander Found in Southern Appalachian Mountains
Three new species of black-bellied salamander have been discovered by a research team led by R. Alexander Pyron, the Robert F. Griggs Associate Professor of Biology at the George Washington University. The new salamanders, which are found in the southern Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States, stem from black-bellied populations that were long considered to be a single species.
New machine learning technique shows how drugs can be repurposed
A new machine learning method to model gene expression levels might improve the identification of genes that cause human diseases, according to a new study by Penn State College of Medicine researchers.
World’s New Stream Frog Found in Myanmar: Chula Researcher Indicates Its Ecosystem Is Intact
A biologist from the Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University working with researchers from Germany and Myanmar has discovered two of the world’s newest stream frogs in Myanmar highlighting the remaining diversity of ecosystems in Southeast Asia and cautions all those involved of the need to conserve our forests before our valuable wildlife become extinct.
Researchers Use Model of Hypothalamus to Implicate Genes Associated with Sleep, BMI, Puberty, and More
A new study has implicated several genes involved in a variety of bodily functions associated with the hypothalamus, a notoriously difficult-to-study region of the brain. The findings could help clinicians identify potential causes of dysfunction for many important traits regulated by the hypothalamus, such as sleep, stress, and reproduction.
Can’t Find Your Keys? You Need a Chickadee Brain
For the first time, researchers have shown that there is a genetic component underlying the amazing spatial memories of Mountain Chickadees. Although the genetic basis for spatial memory has been shown for humans and other mammals, direct evidence of that connection has never before been identified in birds.
OPENTRONS ANNOUNCES $200 MILLION SERIES C ROUND LED BY SOFTBANK
Opentrons, the lab automation platform comprised of Opentrons Robotics, Pandemic Response Lab, Neochromosome, and Zenith AI, receives $200 million to scale its platform for life sciences and healthcare.
UNH-Led Team Sequences Shea Tree Genome to Support Breeding and Conservation Efforts
An international team of researchers led by the University of New Hampshire has sequenced the shea tree’s genome, providing a valuable resource for the strategic development of the species which is best known for the popular product shea butter—a multimillion-dollar ingredient used in cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals and chocolate.
Research provides evidence for how a key transcription factor manages access to DNA
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have revealed a previously unknown role for CTCF, a pivotal transcription regulator linked to cancer.
Pinpointing where single-stranded transcripts converted into double-stranded RNAs
St. Jude scientist Vibhor Mishra, Ph.D., is homing in on the location where important processes in gene regulation occur, and where single-stranded transcripts are converted into double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs).
Comprehensive clinical sequencing opens door to the promise of precision medicine
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital study highlights the power of comprehensive whole genome, whole exome and RNA sequencing to better understand and treat each patient’s cancer.
Decoding humans’ survival from coronaviruses
An international team of researchers co-led by the University of Adelaide and the University of Arizona has analysed the genomes of more than 2,500 modern humans from 26 worldwide populations, to better understand how humans have adapted to historical coronavirus outbreaks.
UCLA Health receives $4.8M NIH grant to improve genetic estimates of disease risk in diverse populations
UCLA Health will receive a $4.8 million grant from The National Institutes of Health to develop methods that will improve genetic risk estimates – polygenic risk scores – for specific diseases in people from diverse populations and mixed ancestries.
NSU Researcher Part of Team to Sequence the Genome of One of the World’s Most Elusive Big Cats – the Leopard
They are some of the most beautiful, and elusive, animals on the plant. Leopards. In a major scientific step, the whole genome DNA sequence of 23 individual leopards have been interpreted.
NSU Researcher Part of a Flagship Study on Vertebrate Genomes
Unprecedented novel discoveries have implications for characterizing biodiversity for all life, conservation and human health and disease.
Overfishing of Atlantic Cod Likely Did Not Cause Genetic Changes
Overfishing likely did not cause the Atlantic cod, an iconic species, to evolve genetically and mature earlier, according to a study led by Rutgers University and the University of Oslo – the first of its kind – with major implications for ocean conservation.
Evolution drives autism and other conditions to occur much more frequently in boys, genetic researchers say
Evolutionary forces drive a glaring gender imbalance in the occurrence of many health conditions, including autism, a team of genetics researchers has concluded.
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.
Building a better green workhorse
Biologists at Washington University in St. Louis lead a team awarded $1.7 million from the National Science Foundation to streamline the genome of a cyanobacterium with the goal of developing a green cellular factory for sustainable production of food, feed and fuels.
Researchers Unveil Detailed Genome of Invasive Malaria Mosquito
Researchers have produced a groundbreaking new reference genome for the Asian malaria vector mosquito Anopheles stephensi. The achievement will help scientists engineer advanced forms of defense against malaria transmission, including targeted CRISPR and gene drive-based strategies.
Study Finds Neglected Mutations May Play Important Role in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Mutations that occur in certain DNA regions, called tandem repeats, may play a significant role in autism spectrum disorders, according to research led by Melissa Gymrek, assistant professor in the UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering and School of Medicine. The study, which was published in Nature on Jan. 14, was co-authored by UCLA professor of human genetics Kirk Lohmueller and highlights the contributions these understudied mutations can make to disease.
Cataloging Nature’s Hidden Arsenal: Viruses that Infect Bacteria
A new approach for studying phage-bacteria interactions will help scientists study the intricate offensive and defensive chemical tactics used by parasite and host. These microscopic battles have implications for medicine, agricultural research, and climate science.
Making sense of a universe of corn genetics
A new study details the latest efforts to predict traits in corn based on genomics and data analytics. The data management technique could help to “turbo charge” the seemingly endless amount of genetic stocks contained in the world’s seed banks, leading to faster and more efficient development of new crop varieties.
Genetic Code Evolution and Darwin’s Evolution Theory Should Consider DNA an ‘Energy Code’
Darwin’s theory of evolution should be expanded to include consideration of a DNA stability “energy code” – so-called “molecular Darwinism” – to further account for the long-term survival of species’ characteristics on Earth, according to Rutgers scientists. The iconic genetic code can be viewed as an “energy code” that evolved by following the laws of thermodynamics (flow of energy), causing its evolution to culminate in a nearly singular code for all living species, according to the Rutgers co-authored study in the journal Quarterly Review of Biophysics.
How Did Red Algae Survive in Extreme Environments?
Red algae have persisted in hot springs and surrounding rocks for about 1 billion years. Now, a Rutgers-led team will investigate why these single-celled extremists have thrived in harsh environments – research that could benefit environmental cleanups and the production of biofuels and other products.
Shattering Expectations: Novel Seed Dispersal Gene Found in Green Millet
Researchers generated genome sequences for nearly 600 green millet plants and released a very high-quality reference S. viridis genome sequence Analysis of these plant genome sequences also led them to identify for the first time in wild populations a gene related to seed dispersal.
Study finds cancer mutations accumulate in distinct regions based on structure of genome and mutational causes
A study finds that cancer mutations occur in distinct patterns based on the 3D structure of the genome and the underlying cause of the mutation. This helps us to understand cancer better and may lead to new treatment approaches.
Research into SARS-CoV-2 mutation “hotspots” raises implications for vaccines and therapeutics
Researchers have found at least 10 distinct “hotspot” mutations in more than 80% of randomly selected SAR-CoV-2 sequences from six countries, and these genome hotspots – seen as “typos” that can occur as the virus replicates during cellular division – could have a significant impact in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
One-size-fits-all is no fit for heart health
From Weight Watchers to wearable tech – wherever we look, there are messages encouraging us to stay fit and healthy. But diets and training methods aside, when it comes to heart health, research from the University of South Australia shows that a far more personalised approach is needed…and it all starts with your genes.
Searching the ancient depths of a reptilian genome yields insight into all vertebrates
An Iowa State University scientists contributed to a global effort to assemble the genome of the tuatara, a rare reptile species native to New Zealand. The tuatara genome sheds light on the genomic structure of a huge range of species, including humans.
Dinosaur relative’s genome linked to mammals
Scientists from the University of Adelaide and South Australian Museum have collaborated with Otago University, New Zealand and a global team to sequence the genome of the tuatara – a rare reptile whose ancestors once roamed the earth with dinosaurs.
Campus 20th anniversary of posting the assembled genome to the Internet
UC Santa Cruz researchers played a crucial role in early planning of the human genome project, in assembling the genome sequence, developing tools for its visualization and ensuring it remained in the public domain. They continue to have a major role in the ongoing analysis of the human genome.
When Pulitzer Prize and Grammy award winner Kendrick Lamar rapped “I got millions, I got riches buildin’ in my DNA,” he almost certainly wasn’t talking about the humble tomato. But a new study unveiling more than 230,000 DNA differences across 100 tomato varieties which will allow breeders and scientists to engineer larger, juicier, more profitable plants, proves that tomatoes indeed have riches buildin’ in their DNA, too.
Genome Study Links DNA Changes to the Risks of Specific Breast Cancer Subtypes
An analysis of genetic studies covering 266,000 women has revealed 32 new sites on the human genome where variations in DNA appear to alter the risks of getting breast cancer.
Researchers identify most powerful gene variant for height known to date
• Newly discovered gene variant in Peruvian populations is powerfully linked with height
• Five percent of Peruvians carry the variant, which originates exclusively from Native American populations
• The variant occurs on a gene that, when mutated, causes Marfan syndrome, a condition marked by connective tissue abnormalities, including serious cardiovascular problems
• The newly discovered variant is not associated with disease and may confer adaptive evolutionary advantage to populations that carry it
Genetic complexity: A spanner in the works?
The promise of personalized medicine has not fully materialized, say two McMaster researchers, because the full sophistication of the genetic blueprint has a more complex and far-reaching influence on human health than scientists had first realized.
NEI researchers link age-related DNA modifications to susceptibility to eye disease
National Eye Institute (NEI) researchers profiling epigenomic changes in light-sensing mouse photoreceptors have a clearer picture of how age-related eye diseases may be linked to age-related changes in the regulation of gene expression. The findings, published online April 21 in Cell Reports, suggest that the epigenome could be targeted as a therapeutic strategy to prevent leading causes of vision loss, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Coronavirus by the Numbers
The Weizmann Institute’s Prof. Ron Milo and colleagues at Caltech and Berkeley used his biomass-analyzing techniques to sort the mass of coronavirus data, with interesting results. For example, they found that the coronavirus mutation accumulation rate is relatively slow, which is good news for vaccines