The 5 biggest Crick stories of the year: 2018

It’s been a year of discovery at the Crick. From tissue regeneration to personalised medicine, we look back at the science stories that made the headlines in 2018.      

World’s first lab-grown oesophagus transplanted in mice

World’s first lab-grown oesophagus transplanted in mice

In a world-first, Crick scientists collaborated on a project to grow functional sections of oesophagus using stem cells and then transplant them into mice. Although early-stage, the findings, published in Nature Communications, offer a potential route to developing treatments for children with oesophageal defects in the future.

Read the full news article.

Crick lab: Epithelial Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine Laboratory

Chemicals in vegetables prevent colon cancer in mice

Chemicals in vegetables prevent colon cancer in mice

Chemicals produced by vegetables such as kale, cabbage and broccoli could help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent colon cancer. The research, published in Immunity, showed that mice fed on a diet rich in a compound that is produced when we digest these types of vegetables were protected from gut inflammation and colon cancer.

Further studies will help find out whether the molecules in these vegetables have the same effect in people, but in the meantime there are already plenty of good reasons to eat more vegetables!

Read the full news article.

Crick lab: AhRimmunity Laboratory

Cabbage.

Link between tuberculosis and Parkinson’s disease discovered

Link between tuberculosis and Parkinson’s disease discovered

The mechanism our immune cells use to clear bacterial infections like tuberculosis (TB) was implicated in Parkinson's disease in a collaborative study led by Crick scientists and collaborators at Newcastle University.

The findings, which were published in The EMBO Journal, provide a possible explanation of the cause of Parkinson's disease and suggest that drugs designed to treat Parkinson's might also work for TB.

Read the full news article.

Read a perspective article from group leader Maximiliano Gutierrez. 

Crick lab: Host-Pathogen Interactions in Tuberculosis Laboratory

macrophage infected with the bactrium that causes tuberculosis

Non-coding DNA changes the genitals you're born with

Non-coding DNA changes the genitals you're born with

Male mice grow ovaries instead of testes if they are missing a small region of DNA that doesn't contain any genes, Crick scientists found in a paper published in Science.

The finding could help explain disorders of sex development in humans, at least half of which have an unknown genetic cause.

Read the full news article.

Crick lab: Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics Laboratory

Sex-reversed male XY mouse (left) and female XX mouse (right).

'Killer' kidney cancers identified by studying their evolution

'Killer' kidney cancers identified by studying their evolution

Crick scientists discovered that kidney cancer follows distinct evolutionary paths, enabling them to detect whether a tumour will be aggressive and revealing that the first seeds of kidney cancer are sown as early as childhood.

The studies, published in Cell, shed light on the fundamental principles of cancer evolution and could lead to tests to give patients more accurate prognoses and personalised treatment.

Read the full news article.

Crick lab: Cancer Evolution and Genome Instability Laboratory

Sign up for our newsletters

Join our mailing lists to receive updates about our latest research and to hear about our free public events and exhibitions.