Genetics in the News: March 2019 - May 2019

New computational tool improves gene identification

In a study that appears in Bioinformatics, a team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine has developed a new bioinformatics tool that analyzes CRISPR pooled screen data and identifies candidates for potentially relevant genes with greater sensitivity and accuracy than other existing methods. 

Colon cancer proteins, genes uncover potential treatments

A multi-institutional study, published in Cell, supports comprehensive characterization of tumor tissues as a means to guide further research leading to early diagnostic strategies and new treatments.

Research improves understanding of cell-cell communication

The National Institutes of Health Common Funds Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium, which includes researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, created the exRNA Atlas resource, the first detailed catalog of human exRNAs in bodily fluids. The study that details this resource appears in the journal Cell.

Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao named new McNair Scholar

Dr. Hsiao-Tuan Chao, assistant professor of pediatrics and molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine has been named the newest McNair Scholar.

New strategy fights bacterial antibiotic resistance

In a study in Molecular Cell, researchers in the Rosenberg lab at Baylor College of Medicine, reveal how bacteria evolve mutations that lead to antibiotic resistance and that this process can be hindered with an FDA-approved drug.

High-fructose corn syrup promotes intestinal tumors in mice

In a study, published in Science, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine showed that consuming a daily modest amount of high-fructose corn syrup accelerates the growth of intestinal tumors in APC-model mice. 

Unveiling disease-causing genetic changes in chromosome 17

In a study appearing in Cell, a group of researchers in the Lupski Lab at Baylor College of Medicine have discovered that there is much more to 17p11.2 syndromes than deletions and duplications.

Genetics in the News: December 2018 - February 2019

Discovery improves understanding of Lou Gehrig's disease

A collaborative study led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute of Texas Children’s Hospital improves our understanding of how amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, develops.

Two Independent Mechanisms Involved in Tuberous Sclerosis

In a study published in a February issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, found another mechanism involved in the development of Tuberous Sclerosis. 

Researchers uncover intracellular longevity pathway

Dr. Meng Wang and her colleagues report in the January issue of Developmental Cell, the discovery of an intracellular pathway that mediates metabolic adjustments that promote health and longevity in the worm, Caenorhabditis elegans

Discovery explains breast cancer cells’ ability to adapt, survive

A team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine has discovered that breast cancer cells can shift between two forms of the cell surface molecule CD44: CD44s and CD44v.

Bacteria help discover human cancer-causing proteins

A team led by researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and University of Texas at Austin applied an unconventional approach that used bacteria to discover human proteins that can lead to DNA damage and promote cancer. Reported in the journal Cell, the study also proposes biological mechanisms by which these proteins can cause damage to DNA, opening possibilities for future cancer treatments.

PreSeek can complement genetic disease prenatal screening

The team behind the development of the first clinical non-invasive prenatal multi-gene sequencing screen, PreSeek™, has released initial results of a clinical study evaluating the technology's accuracy and utility. The study appears in Nature Medicine.

Baylor faculty elected National Academy of Inventors fellows

Dr. Huda Zoghbi was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Without Dna2, genes can jump into DNA breaks

A multi-institutional study published in the journal Nature, reveals that when Dna2 is absent, small DNA fragments jump from all over the genome into chromosome breaks.

FDA recognizes database of clinically relevant genetic variants

The database created by the Clinical Genome Resource program (ClinGen) has been recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Genetics in the News: October - November 2018

Protein connection shown to be major player in cancer growth

A team of researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital have revealed a connection between mTORC1 and Src, two proteins known to be hyperactive in cancer. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, shows that Src is necessary and sufficient to activate mTORC1.

Special issue of journal highlights ClinGen program

A special issue of the journal Human Mutation contains 25 papers related to the activities of the National Human Genome Research Institute-funded Clinical Genome Resource program (ClinGen) and ClinVar, a large database supported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. ClinGen was launched in 2013 and includes leading faculty from Baylor College of Medicine who played key roles in developing and advancing the program.

Undiagnosed Diseases Network finds 31 new syndromes

The Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN), a multi-institutional consortium of researchers has found 31 new syndromes and has been able to make diagnoses for 132 patients within two years of the group’s inception. These findings are described in the current edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Grant funds somatic cell genome editing mouse models study

As part of a larger effort of the NIH’s Somatic Cell Genome Editing (SCGE) program, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University have been awarded a U42 grant to create mouse model resources for testing the therapeutic potential of novel genome editing approaches.

Dynamin-binding protein linked to congenital cataracts

An international team of researchers has found compelling evidence that links dynamin-binding protein (DNMBP) to congenital bilateral cataracts and severe vision loss. The study appears in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Genetics in the News: July 2018 - September 2018

Baylor’s HGSC named an NIH All of Us research center

NIH's All of Us Research Program has named a consortia led by the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center (BCM-HGSC) as one of three centers responsible for generating clinical grade genomic data for the program. 

New gene therapy treatment for osteoarthritis

In a study appearing in Arthritis and Rheumatology, Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have identified a potential strategy for treating osteoarthritis using gene therapy to inhibit the interleukin-1 pathway. 

Previously undiagnosed neurological disorder linked to mutations in gene IRF2BPL

An international team of scientists, including researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, has discovered that mutations of the gene IRF2BPL are associated with a previously undiagnosed neurological disorder in seven unrelated individuals.

Analytical tool predicts disease causing genes

An international team of researchers, including researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, have developed a new analytical tool to effectively and efficiently predict genes that can cause disease due to the production of truncated or altered proteins that take on a new or different function.

Genetics in the News: April - June 2018

Mutations in gene TRAF7 associated with multisystem disorder

A team of researchers have identified four different mutations in the gene TRAF7. by sequencing the protein-coding genes of the genomes of patients presenting with a similar disorder of unknown origin.

Sugar delays neurodegeneration caused by enzyme deficiency

In a report in the journal Autophagy, researchers found that sugar trehalose increases cellular waste disposal and improves the neurological symptoms in a mouse model of the disease, mucopolysaccharidoses IIIB (MPS IIIB).

Scientists develop new approach to understand Huntington’s

With the use of a high-throughput, multi-pronged approach that integrates laboratory experiments, data from published literature and network analysis of large datasets, a team of scientists uncovered the functional significance of various molecular changes in Huntington's Disease. 

Joint symposium brings advances in genetic research to Asia for second year

For the second year, top geneticists from around the world gathered for the Joint Symposium in Clinical Genetics and 14th Asia Pacific Congress in Maternal Fetal Medicine in Hong Kong.

Dr. Meng Wang named Howard Hughes Investigator

Congratulations to Dr. Meng Wang! Dr. Wang has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator at Baylor. 

Research reveals uncaptured genetic diversity in Botswana

In a study appearing in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, one of the first data-driven, population-based genomic studies have found significant diversity in the genetic makeup of a population from the southern region of the African continent. 

Xia-Gibbs Syndrome study led to new patient registry

Researchers at the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine have conducted a study of 20 individuals with Xia-Gibbs Syndrome and have established a registry to collect genetic and other clinical information from patients with the condition. The results of this study appears in the American Journal of Medical Genetics

Zoghbi joins American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi has been elected one of the newest members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary titles.

New genetic tool will expand library of fruit flies

A study published in eLife by the Bellen Lab reports on the development of a large versatile library of fruit flies that can be used to perform in vivo gene-specific manipulations using the new protocol and gene-specific integration vector CRIMIC (CRISPR-Mediated Integrated Cassette).

Genetics in the News: January - March 2018

Women of Excellence Honorees

Congratulations to following department faculty and staff who were recognized by Baylor College of Medicine as Women of Excellence: Stephenie Chargois, Neva Durand, Claudia Fonseca, Pilar Magoulas, Jill Mokry, Debra D. Murray, Salma Nassef, Jennifer Posey, and Lisa White. 

Primate genomics study reveals clues into AIDS resistance

Researchers from the Baylor Human Genome Sequencing Center and Emory University set out to sequence and analyze the genomes of two nonhuman primates to develop new insights into the behavior of the HIV virus in humans. The research appears in Nature.

Baylor geneticists, oncologists host symposium in Japan

The Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center hosted their first joint United States - Japan Clinical Cancer Genomics and Personalized Medicine Symposium in Tokyo, Japan.

Molecular Medicine awards Ross Prize to Huda Zoghbi

Congratulations to Dr. Huda Zoghbi! Dr. Zoghbi was awarded the sixth annual Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine by The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health.

credit: Elsevier Inc. 2018
Research reveals mechanism that drives ataxia type 1

A group of researchers in the Zoghbi lab discovered that polyQ-ATAXIN1 and a partner molecule called capicua form a neurodegeneration complex that is able to disrupt the expression of a number of genes in neurons in animal models of the condition, spinocerebellar ataxia type 1. The study appears in the journal Neuron.

Baylor hosts high school educational genetics conference

For the 10th year, the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine hosted a genetics educational conference for Advanced Placement Biology students at Bellaire High School in Houston. 

Gene playing major role in neurological condition found

Researchers are closer to solving the puzzle of a complex neurological condition called 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome after they identified which gene is responsible for patients' clinical characteristics.