Category archives: Genetics

New gene variants associated with increased COVID-19 risk

New gene variants associated with increased COVID-19 risk

BiomedicineGenetics

By Rosa García-Verdugo

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were hints at particular genes which increased some people’s susceptibility to get infected and the severity of illness once infected. Now, an international study (nearly 3500 researchers from 25 countries) on more than 45000 people infected with SARS-CoV-2, showed a link between 13 genetic variants and the […]

Mutations in the non-coding genome contribute to autism

Mutations in the non-coding genome contribute to autism

GeneticsNeurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

A significant portion of an organism’s genome is non-coding; that is, it does not carry information to make proteins. Part of the non-coding DNA is transcribed into functional non-coding RNA molecules (e.g., transfer RNA, ribosomal RNA and regulatory RNA). Other functions of non-coding DNA include transcriptional and translational regulation of protein coding sequences, nuclear scaffold […]

Gene editing could help reverse fast ageing in progeria

Gene editing could help reverse fast ageing in progeria

BiomedicineGenetics

By Rosa García-Verdugo

Gene editing could be the solution to progeria, a genetic disease, characterized by extremely fast ageing. Progeria causes fast ageing and premature death in people carrying a single-point mutation in the LMNA gene, which basically leads to the production of a toxic protein which slowly damages the cells, ageing the bodies. This simple misspelling of […]

Mitochondrial gene editing is now possible, thanks to a bacterium

Mitochondrial gene editing is now possible, thanks to a bacterium

Genetics

By Rosa García-Verdugo

Mitochondria are the energy-making machines in the cell. Also, since evolutionarily they are thought to evolve from symbiotic bacteria, they have their own little genomes, which are mainly evolved through the maternal side, and also maybe because of their important function, mutations in genes affecting them are very damaging, and even lethal. However, mitochondrial DNA […]

3 medical innovations fueled by COVID-19 that will outlast the pandemic

3 medical innovations fueled by COVID-19 that will outlast the pandemic

Computer scienceGeneticsHealthMedicineMolecular biologyPharmacy

By Invited Researcher

A number of technologies and tools got a chance to prove themselves for the first time in the context of COVID-19. Three researchers working in gene-based vaccines, wearable diagnostics and drug discovery explain how their work rose to the challenge of the pandemic, and their hopes that each technology is now poised to continue making […]

Genetic risk for Alzheimer’s also predisposes for COVID-19 infection

Genetic risk for Alzheimer’s also predisposes for COVID-19 infection

BiomedicineGeneticsMedicine

By Rosa García-Verdugo

It seems that the genetic risk of an APOE4 variant in the APOE gene would not only increase risk for Alzheimer’s but also would increase the chances of getting infected by the COVID-19 virus. The APO protein is involved in cholesterol metabolism and the immune system. However, its precise role in Alzheimer’s disease is as […]