Male fish can thank genes for colourful looks

Phys.org | March 22, 2019

Striking traits seen only in males of some species – such as colorful peacock feathers or butterfly wings – are partly explained by gene behavior, research suggests. The findings aid understanding of the phenomenon, which can help animals attract mates, but also make them more vulnerable to predators. Researchers studied the genetics of the guppy fish, whose males are brightly colored compared with the dull brown of females. Researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Exeter used populations of fish bred in the lab to carry out detailed= studies of how genes are passed on during reproduction. Scientists compared genetic maps over several generations alongside entire genetic codes, to understand how genes were inherited over time. In typical sexual reproduction, a set of genes from each parent would combine randomly to create offspring with a mix of features from both. In male guppy fish, however, packages of genes in cells – known as chromosomes – were found to exchange genes only from their tips. Many genes, including those that cause bright colors, are passed on from one male generation to the next almost undisturbed, and rarely mix with genes inherited by females.

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Spotlight

The global immuno-oncology market is expected to reach $128.3 billion by 2024. What breakthroughs have led to these incredible developments and where are we going? Take a ride on this amazing journey and download our beautiful white paper we created with the experts at Cisbio to discover the past and present of immuno-oncology therapy as well as its exciting future.

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CELL AND GENE THERAPY

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Mekonos | November 24, 2020

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RESEARCH

Cedilla Therapeutics Expands Leadership Team with Key Appointments Across R&D And Finance

Cedilla Therapeutics | November 17, 2021

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Adaptive Biotechnologies Announces New Data Demonstrating ImmunoSEQ® Technology Can Identify T-Cell Receptors Associated with Crohn’s Disease

Adaptive Biotechnologies | February 19, 2022

Adaptive Biotechnologies Corporation a commercial stage biotechnology company that aims to translate the genetics of the adaptive immune system into clinical products to diagnose and treat disease, presented data on T-cell receptor (TCR) sequences associated with Crohn’s disease (CD) during an oral presentation today at the 17th Congress of European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) being held virtually February 16-19. The study identified and characterized TCR sequences associated with CD utilizing Adaptive’s immunoSEQ® technology, providing fundamental insights into the body’s response to CD at the cellular level. The immunoSEQ assay uses sequencing technology to decipher the complexity of the adaptive immune system. This multi-national study, which was also recently published in The Journal of Crohns and Colitis, utilized immunoSEQ technology to analyze TCRs from blood samples of 1,738 CD cases and 4,970 healthy donors. 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The average length of time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis for a CD patient can be 1-2 years in the US but may be much longer in other countries, so the potential to open a new path to identify the disease earlier is significant.2,3 Furthermore, the amount of Crohn’s-related TCRs can provide insights into disease characteristics such as the phenotype and location of the disease, with possible clinical implications. In addition to TCR findings, the analysis also studied the possible association between human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) alleles and CD-associated TCRs, which live on most cells in the body, by leveraging the novel immunoSEQ HLA Classifier. HLA alleles are genetic factors that have been found to contribute to a small portion of risk for CD. In this study, nearly 400 CD-associated TCRs were found to be associated with specific HLA alleles. These TCR associations highlight the importance of studying TCRs in the context of HLA type and potentially point to new risk factors and insights for CD such as the involvement of specific antigens that the immune system may be reacting to in people living with CD. “We’re excited to see these results and their potential to advance the scientific community’s understanding of the immune response to Crohn’s disease. The use of immunoSEQ and characterization of TCRs in the blood have the potential to uncover new knowledge on the development and progression of the disease, with the potential to eventually improve diagnostic options and disease management for people living with Crohn’s,” said Harlan Robins, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of Adaptive Biotechnologies. “We look forward to continuing our research and advancing the development of our T-Detect test to include an application in the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease.” CD is a subtype of inflammatory bowel disease, a group of diseases impacting about 6.8 million adults globally.4 Early treatment with effective medications can prevent disease progression towards complications, surgery and disability. However, CD is difficult to diagnose and treat, with more than half of patients initially misdiagnosed. No single blood test currently exists for diagnosis of CD. Instead, patients often undergo a series of tests – often invasive – in order to reach a conclusive diagnosis. Based on the results of this study, Adaptive is further investigating specific TCR signatures that are associated with CD related behavior and disease activity to further the development of T-Detect in this indication. Additional research will also focus on signal optimization and clinical validation to explore commercial utility. About the immunoSEQ® Assay Adaptive’s immunoSEQ Assay helps researchers make discoveries in areas such as oncology, autoimmune disorders, infectious diseases and basic immunology. The immunoSEQ Assay can identify millions of T- and/or B-cell receptors from a single sample in exquisite detail. The immunoSEQ Assay is used to ask and answer translational research questions and discover new prognostic and diagnostic signals in clinical trials. The immunoSEQ Assay provides quantitative, reproducible sequencing results along with access to powerful, easy-to-use analysis tools. The immunoSEQ Assay is for research use only and is not for use in diagnostic procedures. About T Detect™ T-Detect™ is a highly sensitive and specific diagnostic test under development for multiple diseases, translating the natural diagnostic capability of T cells into clinical practice. In 2018, Adaptive and Microsoft partnered to build a map of the immune system called the TCR-Antigen Map. This approach uses immunosequencing, proprietary computational modeling, and machine learning to map T-cell receptor sequences to disease-associated antigens for infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders and cancer. From a simple blood draw, T-Detect will leverage the map to provide an immunostatus for an individual, enabling early disease diagnosis, disease monitoring, and critical insights into immunity. 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We have three commercial products and a robust clinical pipeline to diagnose, monitor and enable the treatment of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions and infectious diseases.

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