Targeting Disease

Some human diseases are due to changes in our DNA. Others are due to invading pathogens. Explore the role our genes play in disease and how scientists are using genetics to develop more effective treatments.

Targeting Disease

stories Genomic surveillance in action Genomic surveillance is not new, but developments in the availability, speed and cost of technology mean it has become an essential tool in tackling epidemics.
stories Tracking ‘superbugs’ Infectious diseases can spread quickly in a hospital environment, particularly if the pathogen that causes the disease is resistant to the drugs relied on to fight it. Genomics may be able to help track these resistant pathogens and nip them in the bud before they become widespread…
stories Science in the time of cholera Although cholera is commonly thought to be a disease of the Victorian era, it is still a significant problem in many areas of the modern world. Genomics research is helping to bring us closer to understanding how we may eliminate it once and for all.
stories Defeating the little dragon The Guinea worm is a water-transmitted parasite that develops over a year in its host before painfully emerging from the skin. It is hoped that it will soon become the first parasite to be eradicated but there are a few challenges to overcome first…
stories How is genomics being used to tackle neglected tropical diseases? Neglected tropical diseases affect the poorest of the world’s populations but relatively little is known about their biology. Genomics is now providing insight into these diseases and enabling scientists to develop new strategies to prevent and treat these debilitating diseases.
stories The ongoing battle against drug resistant malaria Resistance to antimalarial drugs is one of the biggest problems currently facing malaria control. Recent studies looking at the genome of the malaria parasite could help scientists understand how drug resistance has evolved – and develop the tools needed to keep it in check.
stories A weapon against malaria Malaria parasites have a complex life cycle and high variability which has made the development of a vaccine a real challenge. Currently the most advanced vaccine candidate is RTS,S.
stories Malaria: the master of disguise Sequencing the genome of the malaria parasite has revealed interesting clues as to how it is able to evade the human immune system for long enough to cause disease.
stories How is pharmacogenomics being used? In a small number of cases, doctors are able to use pharmacogenomics in their treatment of patients.
stories Pharmacogenomics and cancer Pharmacogenomics is a specific kind of genetic testing that offers key advantages for doctors trying to choose the best drugs for their patients.
stories Adverse drug reactions An adverse drug reaction is when a medication given as instructed and at a normal dose has an unwanted or harmful effect on a patient.
stories Treating the bubble babies: gene therapy in use Some children with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a genetic disorder characterised by a reduced number of immune cells, have been treated using gene therapy.

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