October 2011

1 October 2011

Coming soon

Next steps in the sequence, the PHG Foundation report on the clinical implications of whole genome sequencing will be launched on 24th October – available online from 25th October.

Genome sequencing

Clinical genomics has been a major theme over the last month, including plans to offer whole genome sequencing to the Faroe Islands population, great enthusiasm for personal genome sequencing among scientists, and discussion of clinical applications and concerns.

Policy and regulation

Germany has adopted a relatively liberal stance on animals containing human material, whilst major medical research bodies have criticised excessively bureaucratic European regulations; we also review European and Asian developments in rare disease policies.

Newborn screening and birth defects

Egypt has unveiled a huge new national newborn screening programme and the US is set to adopt a congenital heart disease screen in their programme, whilst international targets in improving maternal and child health have not be fulfilled.

Stem cells and clinical research

The UK’s first clinical trial using human embryonic stem cell therapies is to go ahead for patients with an eye disease; a new approach to genetic liver disease therapy has been unveiled. Successful creation of human embryos by cloning has raised worries over the sources of human eggs used.

Research projects and databases

Major new projects have launched this month in human epigenomics and epigenetics, as well as a mouse phenotyping initiative which it is hoped will support medical research. The UK’s first dedicated tissue bank for brain tumours has also opened to researchers.

Genetics and disease

Research published in recent weeks has ranged widely from a potential new biomarker for Huntington’s disease and insight to the genetic basis of motor neuron disease and BRCA1-linked cancer, through to sequencing of the historical bubonic plague pathogen and association of new genes with coronary artery disease.

New reviews and commentaries

Other news