Blood sucking fated in bed bug’s genome - (Tuesday, February 2, 2016)
In a report that appears in the journal Nature Communications, an international consortium of scientists describe the sequence of the 650 megabase genome of the Cimex lecturlarius, the common bed bug. Within the code of the 14,200 genes that provide the blueprint for the workhorse proteins of the cell, they found genes linked to reproduction, the genes that attract the insects to human blood and several mechanisms that could lead to pesticide resistance.
“There are consequences of the bed bugs’ vampire tendencies,” said Dr. Stephen Richards, associate professor in the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center. “Their blood meals make them swell up, and they have cuticle genes that give them the flexibility to do that. Blood is a liquid diet, and they have water channels that allow them to deal with the sheer amount of fluid. They have the olfactory and vision repertoire similar to other dawn-to-dusk insects.”
“It’s no surprise we like to kill them. However, that is becoming more difficult. We now have a list of all the genes that can be involved in resistance to pesticides.”
Broad genetic testing for childhood cancer patients can pinpoint cancer causes and identify potential treatments - (Wednesday, January 27, 2016)
Combined whole exome tumor and blood sequencing in pediatric cancer patients revealed mutations that could help explain the cause of cancer or have the potential to impact clinical cancer care in 40 percent of patients in a study led by researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
These findings point toward the usefulness of broad-based testing of both tumor and blood samples for children diagnosed with solid tumors, say study senior co-authors Dr. Sharon Plon, professor of pediatrics at Baylor, and Dr. Will Parsons, associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor and Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
The study, which appears in the current issue of JAMA Oncology, is part of the ongoing Baylor College of Medicine Advancing Sequencing in Childhood Cancer Care (BASIC3) project funded through a $6.6 million grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Cancer Institute.
“This is an important study and a powerful illustration of how genomic data can be effectively used by skilled physicians in a clinical context,” said Dr. Richard Gibbs, professor of molecular and human genetics and director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor. Gibbs and Dr. Christine Eng, professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor, lead the study’s efforts to perform genomic testing -- conducted at the WGL -- and evaluate results.
› Read press release
› Read article in JAMA Oncology