Monthly Archives: July 2007

Left-handed gene

LRRTM1 is the name of the gene that appears to play a role in determining whether or not someone is left or right handed.   It is believed that LRRTM1 causes the right side of the brain to control speech and … Continue reading


MRSA adapts genetically within weeks

Scientists in the US have shown that MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria change their genetic structure as a defence against antibiotics.  The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a case study of a heart patient who developed … Continue reading


New multiple sclerosis genes

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the nervous system, the cause of which is still unknown.  Genetically, there might be up to 100 genes involved many of which are still to be identified.  Recently published research has revealed that two … Continue reading

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No more scratching

US researchers have identified the gene that is responsible for itchiness.  The GRPR (gastrin-releasing peptide receptor) "itch gene" was discovered while scientists were looking for genes related to pain.  It is present in nerve cells in the spinal cord, and transmits itchy … Continue reading


Motor neurone disease

A baby boy due to be born in September will have cells taken from his umbilical cord in the hope that they will help his 20 year old half-brother.  The procedure will be performed at the Institute of Cellular Medicine, … Continue reading

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Mental health of new mothers

Researchers from Britain and Ireland have identified the location of genes that make new mothers more susceptible to postpartum psychosis.  This condition affects one in 500 women, so is less common than postnatal depression, but is more severe, with an … Continue reading

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Cancer drug resistance

BBC Radio 4 broadcast the first part of a programme on cancers becoming resistant to drugs 4th July.  The second part, Rise of Resistance, is being broadcast tonight at 9pm.  BBC News Fighting back against cancer

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Sessions on national website increase with launch of Telling Stories

It has been just three weeks since our new genetics education resource went public (seems like a lifetime!). Telling Stories, Understanding Real Life Genetics is freely available at and hosted by the NHS National Genetics Education and Development Centre. … Continue reading

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Stem cells for new breasts

Trials in Japan have shown that stem cells derived from fatty tissue drawn from the stomach or bottom can be used to grow new breasts for women who’ve had mastectomies.  The stem cells are injected, then the breasts grow naturally … Continue reading

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GM skin cells against cancer

British scientists writing in the British Journal of Cancer have announced success in the use of genetically modified skin cells to fight neuroblastoma tumours in mice.  One in 500 children develops cancer, and 15% of all cancer fatalities in children … Continue reading

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