October 2013

1 October 2013

Top story this month

This was a big month for Genomics England, which announced its first partnership - with Cancer Research UK, for cancer genome sequencing - and held its first engagement event, at which it became clear that partnering with other funders is just one way in which GeL (as it abbreviates itself) plans to address the financial shortfall between the £100 million allocated by the UK Government and the current market cost of sequencing 100,000 genomes.

Opinion:Beating ‘blissful ignorance’ of heart disease

Professor Steve Humphries examines the varied benefits of using genetic testing to identify relatives of patients diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia, whilst the British Heart Foundation provides £1.5 million support to NHS England.

Infectious diseases

As both the UK and US unveil plans to address the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, PHG Foundation’s Dr Leila Luheshi underlines the vital role of genomics, further illustrated by findings with the MERS virus. US centres will consider ethical issues in the genomics of host susceptibility to infectious diseases.

Mitochondrial replacement

As the US moves to consider 3-person IVF, European politicians question the legality of the UK’s plans to make the technique legal for preventing mitochondrial disease and scientists sound a note of caution on its safety.

Policy, ethics and funding

An OECD report reveals that infectious diseases and chronic diseases are the key areas of global public health where genomics can add value, whilst the NIH consults on genomic data sharing. In the commercial sector, sequencing company Oxford Nanopore announces new funding, Counsyl seeks legal confirmation it will not infringe BRCA patents, and others reignite designer babies debate.

Personalised medicine

Is genomics driving personalised medicine? New scope emerges for breast cancer prognosis and ovarian cancer screening continue, but UK services for familial forms of colorectal cancer are found to be very varied.

Genomics and disease

A collaborative research hub for academia and industry opens in New York, with new genetic links to eating disorders and MS published.

Other news