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.
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…
In 1984, Alec Jeffreys developed the technique of DNA fingerprinting in his laboratory at the University of Leicester. These techniques have revolutionised the way that the police solve crimes.
The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become a popular model organism only relatively recently. It is a tropical fish from the minnow family with a genetic structure surprisingly similar to ours.
The 1950s and early 1960s saw a dazzling explosion in molecular biology. The structure of DNA had been uncovered and the mysteries of biology seemed eminently solvable. What would be the next big thing?
DNA sequencing is the process of working out the order of the bases, A, C, G and T, in a strand of DNA.
The Sanger sequencing method, developed in 1977, enabled scientists to read the genetic code for the first time. It is based on the natural process of DNA replication.
With third generation sequencing, sequencing a genome has become a cheaper, faster and more sophisticated process.
Genetic counsellors are health professionals who help people faced with the possibility of a genetic disease to make informed decisions about their futures.
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.
Professor Sir Mike Stratton is the director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and co-leader of the Cancer Genome Project.
The origin of modern humans has probably been the most debated issue in evolutionary biology over the last few decades.
For much of nature, natural selection and ‘survival of the fittest’ still play a dominant role; only the strongest can survive in the wild. As little as a few hundred years ago, the same was true for humans, but what about now?
Personal genomics is an area of genomics focusing specifically on the sequencing and analysis of one person’s genome, and then giving them their genomic information.
Pharmacogenomics is a specific kind of genetic testing that offers key advantages for doctors trying to choose the best drugs for their patients.
While many species of amphibians have been studied by scientists, the one that stands out in genetics is the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.
In a small number of cases, doctors are able to use pharmacogenomics in their treatment of patients.
Francis Crick and his American colleague, James Watson, discovered the double helix structure of DNA. For this fundamental finding Francis, James and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1962.
James Watson and his British colleague Francis Crick discovered the double helix structure of DNA. For this fundamental finding James, Francis and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1962.
Maurice Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize with Francis Crick and James Watson in 1962 for their joint discovery of the structure of DNA. Naturally reticent, Wilkins didn’t initially stand forward to give his own account of the DNA story so few knew of his direct involvement in the project.
Rosalind Elsie Franklin was a British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer whose fundamental research was critical to Watson and Crick’s discovery of the structure of DNA.
How was DNA discovered to be the carrier of genetic information? Read on to find out...
Robert H. Waterston is an American biologist well known for his work on sequencing the genome of the nematode worm C. elegans alongside John Sulston. He is also recognised for his part in sequencing the human, mouse and chimpanzee genomes.
Have you ever wanted to know more about your genetic make-up? Direct-to-consumer testing is now making this possible through tests you can order online. But is there a more serious side to us having such easy access to all of the information in our genomes?
Genome-wide association studies have led to the discovery of hundreds of genes with a role in common diseases.
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.
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.
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.
Next-generation sequencing brought with it a fundamentally different approach to DNA sequencing, cutting the time and cost needed to sequence a genome.
Automatic DNA sequencing machines became commercially available in the late 1980s. They allowed scientists to carry out DNA sequencing more safely and efficiently.
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