Expert Analysis:

June 2, 2016

‘Human Genome Project–Write’: Experts propose building synthetic human genome

Leading figures in synthetic biology have proposed a project to build large genomes from scratch, including human genomes, starting in 2016. Called the Human Genome Project – Write, the goal of the project is to test man-made genomes in cells within 10 years. Continue reading

April 18, 2016

The first time: Genetic factors in early sexual activity

Looking at the genomes of over 125,000 British men and women, researchers identified 38 genetic variants which were statistically correlated with the age at which people first had sex. Continue reading

April 11, 2016

Search of over 500,000 genomes yields thirteen individuals apparently resistant to severe genetic diseases

Thirteen individuals with genetic mutations that cause severe diseases but whose medical records indicate they are healthy have been identified in a sample of over half a million genomes. Publishing in Nature Biotechnology, the study authors say such ‘resilient’ individuals … Continue reading

February 25, 2016

Abnormal gene activity in Down syndrome affects lifelong brain development

The faulty activity of genes controlling the development of white matter in the brain may underlie cognitive symptoms of people with Down syndrome, according to a study in Neuron. The researchers suggest their results could open up new possibilities for treatment. Continue reading

February 11, 2016

Medical records help shed light on how Neanderthal DNA may impact health

Researchers have begun to unpick how the remnants of Neanderthal DNA resulting from ancient interbreeding might impact the physical and psychiatric health of modern humans. Continue reading

January 27, 2016

Researchers may have found a genetic reason for differences in schizophrenic brains

A rare biological link between a gene associated with schizophrenia and differences in the brains of people with the psychiatric disorder has been reported in Nature. Continue reading

December 17, 2015

Genomes of centenarians yield new genes associated with long life

Researchers have reported finding new genes associated with living an unusually long life, according to a study in PLOS Genetics. By developing a statistical method which incorporates information about genetic risk of developing fatal diseases, the researchers pulled out five new genes associated with living far longer than normal. Continue reading

September 28, 2015

New genetic links found to heavy smoking and lung disease

Researchers have found five new genetic variants associated with heavy smoking and six new variants associated with lung health and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), by using over 50,000 samples from the UK Biobank. Continue reading

June 8, 2015

Genetic risk for schizophrenia or bipolar predicts likelihood of being a creative professional

Genetic risk scores for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder could predict both psychiatric disorders and membership of artistic societies, according to a study in Nature Neuroscience the leading authors to suggest that genetic variants that increase the risk for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder also influence creativity. Continue reading

May 7, 2015

Scientists: personalized medicine revolution could be jumpstarted by changes to health system

Using genetic data to identify people at risk of developing common diseases and recommend tailored, preventive measures has the potential to save hundreds of billions of dollars in healthcare costs, but realizing their full potential will require changes to the US health system. Continue reading