Many cases of dementia may arise from non-inherited DNA ‘spelling mistakes’

15 Oct 2018

Only a small proportion of cases of dementia are thought to be inherited – the cause of the vast majority is unknown. Now, in a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, a team of scientists led by researchers at the University of Cambridge believe they may have found an explanation: spontaneous errors in our DNA that arise as cells divide and replicate.

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How incurable mitochondrial diseases strike previously unaffected families

15 Jan 2018

Researchers have shown for the first time how children can inherit a severe – potentially fatal – mitochondrial disease from a healthy mother. The study, led by researchers from the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit at the University of Cambridge, reveals that healthy people harbour mutations in their mitochondrial DNA and explains how cases of severe mitochondrial disease can appear unexpectedly in previously unaffected families.

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The self-defence force awakens

04 Jul 2017

Our immune systems are meant to keep us healthy, but sometimes they turn their fire on us, with devastating results. Immunotherapies can help defend against this ‘friendly fire’ – and even weaponise it in our defence.

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