February 2014

1 February 2014

Top stories this month

As researchers reveal a new method to find rarer genetic variants associated with moderate common disease risks, could this open the doors to using genetics in cancer risk prediction and screening?

Opinion: Responding to rapid biomedical change

As test case in the Irish courts raises questions about how far laws can stretch to accommodate new scientific and medical developments, Dr Philippa Brice asks whether reactive policy can bridge the gap between fast-moving science and slower legal changes.

Genome sequencing

As Genomics England reveals new people and plans for the 100,000 genomes project, the Australian state of Melbourne reveals a similar, albeit smaller scale, agenda and US charities announce plans to offer free sequencing to rare disease patients. Internationally, latest estimates value the genomics market at well over $10 million whilst more than 10,000 cancer genomes have now been sequenced.

Big data and bioinformatics

A new policy paper from the US National Consortium For Data Science makes sensible proposals for making the most of genomic data, and the UK allocates new funding to develop bioinformatics capacity. Concerns over the impact of proposed changes to EU law on research continue whilst Scotland debates destruction of newborn blood samples to protect privacy.

Genetics and disease

Cancer clinicians set out a new pilot pathway that may model integration of genetic testing into standard oncology care, and an innovative new game seeks to simultaneously entertain and advance research into cancer genetics while new research advances understanding of schizophrenia genetics.

Stem cells and synthetic biology

Already dogged by news of an enquiry into potential image manipulation, a potentially game-changing new method for creating stem cells is revealed; the UK announces new investment in synthetic biology.

External news and opinion