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Method of the Year 2016

As is our tradition every year we have chosen a method, or in this case a set of methods, that have experienced rapid growth in the last years. This year’s choice of epitranscriptome analysis does not comprise a single technique but is based on advances in detecting, enriching and profiling base modifications on all RNA species.  Read more

An open approach to Huntington’s disease research

An open approach to Huntington's disease research

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gene1. The progressive break down of brain neuronal cells in HD patients leads to deteriorating mental and physical abilities over a 10-20 year period prior to death, the symptoms often described as having Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) simultaneously2. At the start of the huntingtin gene there is a CAG trinucleotide repeat region that encodes a stretch of poly-glutamine residues in the amino-terminus of the encoded protein. This repeat tract is expanded in HD patients. The repeat length of this region correlates with the age of symptom onset3. Affecting approximately 1 in 10,000 of the population4, rare juvenile forms of the disease exist in patients with the longest CAG expansions, although adult-onset HD patients typically have between 40-50 CAG repeats with symptom onset beginning between the ages of 35-50.  Read more