UC San Diego Computer Scientist Plays Major Role in $25M Cancer Grand Challenges Project

University of California San Diego computer scientist Vineet Bafna is part of a team of world-class researchers that has been awarded a five-year, $25 million Cancer Grand Challenges grant to learn how the destructive genetic lesion extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA) influences numerous cancers and to identify possible therapies.

The Application of Noninvasive Prenatal Screening Using Cell-free DNA in General Risk Pregnancies – The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Publishes its Highly Anticipated Evidence-based Review

The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) has released its second, highly anticipated systematic evidence-based review (SER): “The Application of Noninvasive Prenatal Screening Using Cell-free DNA in General Risk Pregnancies.”

Rutgers Researcher Aims to Protect and Regenerate Corals Through Coral Genomics with $500K NSF Grant and Award-Winning Video

A Rutgers researcher will use genomics, genetics, and cell biology to identify and understand the corals’ response to heat stress conditions and to pinpoint master regulatory genes involved in coral bleaching due to global warming and climate change. The researcher and his team will use a novel gene-editing tool as a resource to knock down some gene functions with the goal of boosting the corals’ abilities to survive.

For Neurons, Where They Begin Isn’t Necessarily Where They End

Scientists at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Institute of Genomic Medicine describe novel methods for inferring the movement of human brain cells during fetal development by studying healthy adult individuals who have recently passed away from natural causes.

Mount Sinai Neurobiologist Selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has selected Ian Maze, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, and Pharmacological Sciences, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, as an HHMI Investigator.

Climate Change Threatens Base of Polar Oceans’ Bountiful Food Webs

A study recently published in Nature Communications suggests that displacing cold-water communities of algae with warm-adapted ones threatens to destabilize the delicate marine food web. The team was led by University of East Anglia researchers and included DOE Joint Genome Institute researchers.

Mayo researchers link gut microbiome to rheumatoid arthritis prognosis

A significant indicator of whether a patient with rheumatoid arthritis will improve over the course of disease may lie in part in their gut, according to new research from Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine.

The study, published in Genome Medicine, found that predicting a patient’s future rheumatoid arthritis prognosis could be possible by zeroing in on the trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that inhabit their gastrointestinal tract, known as the gut microbiome. The findings suggest that gut microbes and a patient’s outcome of rheumatoid arthritis are connected.

Schizophrenia Study Suggests Advanced Genetic Scorecard Cannot Predict a Patient’s Fate

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that a tool commonly used in research for evaluating a person’s genetic risk for a disease, called a polygenic risk score, was no better at predicting the outcome of a schizophrenia patient’s disease over time than written reports. The results raise important questions about the use of polygenic risk scores in real-world, clinical situations, and also suggest that a doctor’s written report may be an untapped source of predictive information.

FAU Researcher Receives $1.8 Million NIH ‘Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award’

Raquel Assis, Ph.D., associate professor, College of Engineering and Computer Science, and a fellow of FAU’s Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention, has received a five-year, $1.8 million “Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award” from the NIH. The goal of this early career award is to enhance the ability of investigators to take on ambitious scientific projects and approach problems more creatively.

When stubborn bugs refuse to make drugs

An untapped trove of desirable drug-like molecules is hidden in the genomes of Streptomyces bacteria — the same bacteria responsible for the first bacterial antibiotics to treat tuberculosis back in the 1940s. Isolating them, however, has proved challenging. Now, biologists at Washington University in St. Louis are using comparative metabologenomics to try to uncover what may be “silencing” Streptomyces and preventing it from producing desirable compounds encoded by its genes.

Study confirms the low likelihood that SARS-CoV-2 on hospital surfaces is infectious

A new study confirms the low likelihood that coronavirus contamination on hospital surfaces is infectious. The study is the original report on recovering near-complete SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences directly from surface swabs.

CUR Health Sciences Division Announces 2021 NCUR Presentation Awardees

CUR’s Health Sciences Division announces the 2021 recipients of its NCUR Presentation Awards. The awards cover the cost of registration for undergraduates presenting original research at the 2021 National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

UCI-led study uses plankton genomes as global biosensors of ocean ecosystem stress

Irvine, Calif., April 15, 2021 — By analyzing gains and losses in the genes of phytoplankton samples collected in all major ocean regions, researchers at the University of California, Irvine have created the most nuanced and high-resolution map yet to show where these photosynthetic organisms either thrive or are forced to adapt to limited quantities of key nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and iron.

CU Cancer Center Researcher Reveals New Effects of Oxygen Deprivation in Cancer Cells

A team of University of Colorado School of Medicine researchers recently published a paper offering new insight into the role that oxygen deprivation, or hypoxia, plays in cancer development. CU Cancer Center member Joaquin Espinosa, PhD, is the senior researcher on the paper, which he hopes will help lead to more targeted treatments for cancer.

Hackensack Meridian Health Launches Anthology Diagnostics Laboratories for State-of-the-Art Lab Genomic Profiling of Cancers

Hackensack Meridian Health and Genomic Testing Cooperative (GTC) in Irvine, California, have teamed up to establish the first-of-its-kind genomic profiling laboratory called Anthology Diagnostics, to generate more personalized, precise, and real-time insights for cancer patients, oncologists and hospitals.

Two Danforth Center Scientists Receive Prestigious Awards Recognizing Their Achievements And Leadership

Andrea Eveland received the Marcus Rhoades Early Career Award at the 63rd Maize Genetics Conference. Malia Gehan received the 2021 North American Plant Phenotyping Network (NAPPN) Early Career Award at the NAPPN annual conference.

Researchers Identify RNA Editing Events that Impact Gene Expression and Phenotype

Combining computational mining of big data with experimental testing in the lab, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have identified RNA editing events that influence gene expression and, in turn, the phenotypic manifestation of that expression. In analyzing so-called A-to-I RNA editing, in which the adenosine of an RNA molecule is chemically modified into an inosine, the researchers describe how a single nucleotide change by RNA editing can have large downstream effects. The findings were published today in Genome Biology.

Genomic Data Commons provides unprecedented cancer data resource

The National Cancer Institute’s Genomic Data Commons (GDC), launched in 2016 by then-Vice President Joseph Biden and hosted at the University of Chicago, has become one of the largest and most widely used resources in cancer genomics, with more than 3.3 petabytes of data from more than 65 projects and over 84,000 anonymized patient cases, serving more than 50,000 unique users each month.

Fields of Breeders’ Dreams: A Team Effort Toward Targeted Crop Improvements

In Nature, a multi-institutional team including DOE Joint Genome Institute researchers has produced a high-quality reference sequence of the complex switchgrass genome. Building off this work, bioenergy researchers are exploring targeted genome editing techniques to customize the crop.

CHOP Researchers Find NTRK Fusions More Common than Expected in Pediatric Tumors

In a large study of pediatric cancer patients, researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have analyzed the frequency, fusion partners, and clinical outcome of neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) fusions, which are clinical biomarkers that identify patients suitable for treatment with FDA-approved TRK inhibitors. The researchers found that NTRK fusions are more common in pediatric tumors and also involve a wider range of tumors than adult cancers, information that could help prioritize screening for NTRK fusions in pediatric cancer patients who might benefit from treatment with TRK inhibitors.

Scientist Proposes Use of Convolutional Neural Networks to Detect and Classify COVID-19 Infection

Article title: Implementation of convolutional neural network approach for COVID-19 disease detection Author: Emrah Irmak From the author: “In this paper, two novel and fully automatic studies using deep convolutional neural networks [CNN] are presented for COVID-19 detection and virus…

Testing Wastewater for COVID-19

UNLV researcher Edwin Oh and colleagues have implemented wastewater surveillance programs to screen samples for the presence of COVID-19 and to extract the RNA from the SARS-COV-2 virus to find targets that make vaccines more effective.

New Grant Seeks to Fill Knowledge Gaps Regarding Spina Bifida

Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine have been awarded a five-year, $8.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the causes of spina bifida, the most common structural defect of the central nervous system.

CHOP Researchers Reverse Severe Lymphatic Disorder in Patient with Noonan Syndrome by Targeting Genetic Pathway

Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have resolved a severe lymphatic disorder in a girl with Noonan Syndrome that had led to upper gastrointestinal bleeding, fluid collection around the lungs, and numerous surgeries that had been unable to resolve her symptoms. By identifying a genetic mutation along a pathway related to lymphatic vessel development and function, the research team was able to target the pathway using an existing drug they had used in a previous case to remodel a patient’s lymphatic system.