Famine and disease drove the evolution of lactose tolerance in Europe27 July 2022Prehistoric people in Europe were consuming milk thousands of years before humans evolved the genetic trait allowing us to digest the milk sugar lactose as adults, finds a new study. The research, published in Nature, mapped pre-historic patterns of milk use over the last 9,000 years, offering new insights into milk consumption and the evolution of lactose tolerance.
Scientists discover genes that affect the risk of developing pre-leukaemia14 July 2022The discovery of 14 inherited genetic changes which significantly increase the risk of a person developing a symptomless blood disorder associated with the onset of some types of cancer and heart disease is published today in Nature Genetics. The finding, made in one of the largest studies of its kind through genetic data analysis on 421,738 people, could pave the way for potential new approaches for the prevention and early detection of cancers including leukaemia.
International siblings study sheds new light on the nature of the genetics of disease9 May 2022Genetic studies aim to find regions of the genome that associate with diseases or other outcomes. A new study has shown that for social traits these genetic effects are due to a mixture of direct effects (e.g. biological effects of DNA), and indirect effects (e.g. family or social environment). Whereas biological traits are mainly driven by direct effects.
Childhood obesity increases risk of Type 1 diabetes28 April 2022Being overweight in childhood increases the risk of developing type 1 diabetes in later life, according to the findings of a new study that analysed genetic data on over 400,000 individuals. The study, co-led by researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Oxford and published today in Nature Communications, also provides evidence that being overweight over many years from childhood influences the risk of other diseases including asthma, eczema and hypothyroidism.
Excess weight almost doubles risk of womb cancer19 April 2022New research shows that lifelong excess weight almost doubles a woman’s risk of developing womb cancer, according to a Cancer Research UK-funded study led by the University of Bristol and published today [19 April] in BMC Medicine.
Insomnia could increase people’s risk of type 2 diabetes, study finds7 April 2022People who have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep had higher blood sugar levels than people who rarely had sleep issues, new research has found. The findings suggest insomnia could increase people’s risk of type 2 diabetes, and that lifestyle or pharmacological treatments that improve insomnia could help to prevent or treat the condition.