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DNA

This category contains 11 posts

INTERFERing: the immune responses helping cancer cells resist treatment

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy generally work by causing damage to the DNA of cancer cells. Unfortunately, cancer cells can become resistant to this DNA damage and therefore resistant to the treatments. Recent collaborative research in the WIMM between labs in the Department of Oncology and the MRC Human Immunology Unit sheds light on … Continue reading

It’s not all about sex: there’s a biological clock ticking in fathers too

It is well known that as a woman ages, the number and quality of eggs that she produces declines – making it more challenging to conceive later in life, and increasing the risk of difficulties during pregnancy. But what about men? In a recent study published in PNAS, a team of Wellcome Trust-funded scientists led … Continue reading

Dealing with damaged DNA

The DNA inside your cells is under an enormous amount of strain, every second of the day. It is constantly being pulled, twisted, folded, squashed and stretched – and all it wants to do is carry on doing its absolutely essential job of keeping you alive. In patients with Fanconi anaemia, a form of blood … Continue reading

DNA origami: how do you fold a genome?

Inside each of the cells in your body is an entire instruction manual containing all the information required to build an entire human being. Yet it isn’t just the words in that manual that are important: you have to read the right chapters, and in the right order. To build one particular part of a … Continue reading

An alternative path to immortality

In December 2015, David Clynes (a postdoc in Richard Gibbons’ lab) was awarded a 5-year fellowship from Children with Cancer to set up his own research group. Here, his colleague and co-author Barbara Xella describes the work that was instrumental in obtaining this funding, published in Nature Communications last year. Chromosomes are long DNA molecules … Continue reading

Personalised medicine: hope or hype?

The idea that the information contained in your personal DNA sequence could be used to develop treatments that are specifically tailored to you is a hot topic in medical research, but how likely is it that this will ever become a reality? A recent collaborative study, involving scientists from the WIMM and many others across … Continue reading

Beyond the double helix

So, DNA. It’s a code; it’s made up of four letters, and it’s essential for life. Scientists worked out the sequence of the entire human genome about a decade ago (that’s all the DNA code in your body) so what else is there to know? A lot, says Barbara Xella – it turns out DNA … Continue reading

Why one cell is better than 40,000,000,000,000

Your body is a mass of millions and millions of tiny building blocks called cells, which all work together seamlessly on a daily basis in order to allow you to eat, drink, sleep, work, consume caffeine and perform all other essential bodily functions. A major outstanding question in the biological sciences is how these cells … Continue reading

The United Kingdom – the first country to have a detailed map of the genetic distribution of its people

The United Kingdom boasts a colourful history of wars, invasions, and both immigration and emigration of many, many different people. Archaelogists and historians can tell us much about how the Romans, Vikings, Normans and many others impacted the lives of the native Britons who lived here – but how are these historical events reflected in … Continue reading

From petri dish to personalised medicine

Bowel cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. In 2011, over 40,000 people in the UK were diagnosed with the disease1: equivalent to one person every 15 minutes. In order to try and understand how and why this form of cancer develops, scientists need to be able to grow cells derived from … Continue reading

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