COVID-19: genetic network analysis provides ‘snapshot’ of pandemic origins

Study charts the “incipient supernova” of COVID-19 through genetic mutations as it spread from China and Asia to Australia, Europe and North America. Researchers say their methods could be used to help identify undocumented infection sources.  

Cambridge University News • cambridge
April 9, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: evolution genetics covid-19

Detailed genetic study provides most comprehensive map of risk to date of breast cancer risk

A major international study of the genetics of breast cancer has identified more than 350 DNA ‘errors’ that increase an individual’s risk of developing the disease. The scientists involved say these errors may influence as many as 190 genes.

Cambridge University News • cambridge
Jan. 7, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: dna genetics cancer breast-cancer

Women in STEM: Dr Alexis Braun

Dr Alexis Braun is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Genetics. Here, she tells us about the importance of mentors, how her research might aid in conservation efforts, and how growing up in a First Nations community in Canada spurred her interest in biology. 

Cambridge University News • cambridge
Sept. 26, 2019 ~5 min

Tags:  reproduction  women-in-stem  genetics  crispr  biodiversity-conservation

‘Game-changing’ research could solve evolution mysteries

An evolution revolution has begun after scientists extracted genetic information from a 1.7 million-year-old rhino tooth – the largest and oldest genetic data to ever be recorded.  

Cambridge University News • cambridge
Sept. 11, 2019 ~5 min

Tags: ancient-dna evolution genetics

Genetic variation linked to response to anxiety could inform personalised therapies

A new study in marmoset monkeys suggests that individual variation in genes alters our ability to regulate emotions, providing new insights that could help in the development of personalised therapies to tackle anxiety and depression.

Cambridge University News • cambridge
July 1, 2019 ~5 min

Tags: spotlight-on-neuroscience genetics animal-research anxiety

Scientists find new type of cell that helps tadpoles’ tails regenerate

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have uncovered a specialised population of skin cells that coordinate tail regeneration in frogs. These ‘Regeneration-Organizing Cells’ help to explain one of the great mysteries of nature and may offer clues about how this ability might be achieved in mammalian tissues.

Cambridge University News • cambridge
May 17, 2019 ~5 min

Tags: genetics frog tadpole regenerative-medicine

Butterflies are genetically wired to choose a mate that looks just like them

Male butterflies have genes which give them a sexual preference for a partner with a similar appearance to themselves, according to new research.

Cambridge University News • cambridge
Feb. 8, 2019 ~6 min

Tags: genetics butterfly mating-strategy insects

Slim people have a genetic advantage when it comes to maintaining their weight

In the largest study of its kind to date, Cambridge researchers have looked at why some people manage to stay thin while others gain weight easily. They have found that the genetic dice are loaded in favour of thin people and against those at the obese end of the spectrum.

Cambridge University News • cambridge
Jan. 24, 2019 ~5 min

Tags: genetics obesity

Researchers develop comprehensive new way to predict breast cancer risk

Scientists have created the most comprehensive method yet to predict a woman’s risk of breast cancer, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Cambridge. The study, funded by Cancer Research, is published today in Genetics in Medicine.

Cambridge University News • cambridge
Jan. 15, 2019 ~4 min

Tags: spotlight-on-cancer spotlight-on-public-health genetics

Studies raise questions over how epigenetic information is inherited

Evidence has been building in recent years that our diet, our habits or traumatic experiences can have consequences for the health of our children – and even our grandchildren. The explanation that has gained most currency for how this occurs is so-called ‘epigenetic inheritance’ – patterns of chemical ‘marks’ on or around our DNA that are hypothesised to be passed down the generations. But new research from the University of Cambridge suggests that this mechanism of non-genetic inheritance is likely to be very rare.

Cambridge University News • cambridge
Oct. 30, 2018 ~9 min

Tags: dna genetics animal-research epigenetics

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