Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Research from the Department of Engineering Science finds that the genes that help you smell could also be assisting the spread of colon cancer.

Humans have around 400 “smell-sensing” genes which activate in a combination of ways to allow us to smell the ranges of smells that we do. However, the genes have been found to be expressed in parts of the body other than the nose, with their role previously remaining a mystery. Now, a new study has found that patients whose colon cancer cells show the “expression” of certain smell-sensing genes are more likely to have worse outcomes, especially those with more severe cases of cancer.

The expression of a gene is when the information that is stored in our DNA is translated into instructions for making proteins or other molecules. Gene expression can act as an on/off switch to control when proteins are made and how many. So, the expression of these smell-sensing genes means that the instructions for these particular genes are in use. The levels of the genes can be reduced by experimental techniques called “perturbations” to study the role of the gene in the cell.

Read the full story on the Department of Engineering Science website

Similar stories

Singula Bio, a new Oxford spin-out company - Cancer need not be fatal

General Innovation Research

Singula Bio, a bold new seed-stage biotechnology company spun out of Oxford University, has been launched with the intention of helping show that cancer need not be fatal. Led by three Oxford cancer specialists, the firm is aims to become a world leader in therapies to use against difficult-to-treat solid malignancies such as ovarian cancer - using the body’s own immune system to fight previously fatal cancers.

Major rise in public support for COVID vaccine – Oxford study

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

More than three quarters of people in the UK now say they are ’very likely’ to have the vaccine – up from 50% among the same group of survey respondents five months ago –according to a two-wave Oxford University survey published today.

Coronavirus vaccination linked to substantial reduction in hospitalisation, real-world data suggests

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

The first study to describe the effects in real-world communities of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine has been reported in a pre-print publication today, showing a clear reduction in the risk of hospitalisation from COVID-19 amongst those who have received the vaccine.

World’s largest clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments expands internationally

Clinical Trials Coronavirus COVID-19 General

The Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) Trial, the world’s largest clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments, has now expanded internationally with Indonesia and Nepal among the first countries to join. The first patients have been recruited to RECOVERY International.

Reprogramming tumour cells using an antimalarial drug

General Research

Results from the ATOM clinical trial at the University of Oxford have shown that the anti-malarial drug Atovaquone can reduce very low oxygen tumour environments. This has the potential to make cancers behave less aggressively and to improve the impact of everyday cancer treatments.