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‘Social jetlag’ linked to obesity-related disease

Being out of sync with your body clock may affect your metabolism, leading to obesity and disease. Credit: JD.

Mary Lyon, discoverer of X inactivation, dies

It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of Mary Lyon, aged 89, on Christmas Day.

A combined approach to hearing loss research

So far, genetic research into age-related hearing loss in patients has yielded little insight. A reciprocal approach, combining patient data with results from mouse models, could provide the answer.

Loss of hair cells in the inner ear of the trombone mouse model aged 6 months (left) and 9 months (right).

Sleep in old age mimicked in mice 

Old age affects our circadian clocks, disturbing our sleep at night and increasing the frequency of daytime naps. Investigating these parameters in mice could reveal the part played by genetics.

 Why do elderly people need more naps? Credit: Deutsche Fotothek.‎

Cilia growth regulator essential for lung development

Researchers at MRC Harwell have shown stumpy cilia in mice lacking a functional Atmin gene prevent proper lung development. This could have important implications for human ciliopathies.

Cause of patient’s paralysis deciphered

Research led by Dr Abraham Acevedo-Arozena has determined the cause of muscle stiffness and periods of paralysis in a patient, using a mouse line with exactly the same mutation.

Third method for mitochondrial donation

In June 2014, MRC Harwell’s Dr Andy Greenfield chaired a panel that reviewed two potential mitochondrial replacement therapies. New evidence has now prompted them to consider a third. 

Sleep quality linked to circadian genes

Variation in genes that regulate our internal body clock has been linked to how and when we sleep. Credit: Daniele Zanni.

Atmin critical for normal kidney development

Collaborative research between colleagues at Imperial College London and MRC Harwell into mice with a mutation in Atmin has shown how this gene plays an essential role in the early stages of kidney development.