Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Scientists at Oxford University have identified the gene responsible for doubling the risk of respiratory failure from COVID-19. Sixty percent of people with South Asian ancestry carry the high-risk genetic signal, partly explaining the excess deaths seen in some UK communities, and the impact of COVID-19 in the Indian subcontinent.

Coronavirus illustration

Previous work has already identified a stretch of DNA on chromosome 3 which doubled the risk of adults under 65 of dying from COVID. However, scientists did not know how this genetic signal worked to increase the risk, nor the exact genetic change that was responsible.

In a study published in Nature Genetics, a team lead by Professor James Davies and Professor Jim Hughes at the University of Oxford’s MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (Radcliffe Department of Medicine) used cutting edge technology to work out which gene was causing the effect, and how it was doing so.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website

Similar stories

New Studentship honours Enzo Cerundolo

A new Studentship has been announced in memory of the late MRC HIU Director and MRC WIMM Group Leader.

Young lives under pressure as global crises hits mental health and well-being – report

The well-being and mental health of young people in low - and middle - income countries have been dramatically affected by the series of crises hitting the world. As the international community continues to struggle with the impact of COVID-19, conflict and climate change, the latest report from the Young Lives project shows a long-running upward trend in young people’s well-being has been sharply reversed alongside widespread anxiety and depression. Young people are less confident about their futures for the first time in the 20-year study.

Bacterial infections linked to one in eight global deaths, according to GRAM study

Data showing 7.7 million deaths from 33 bacterial infections can guide measures to strengthen health systems, particularly in low-income settings

New tool aims to make bowel cancer treatments more effective

The Leedham Lab in Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM) has been awarded over £2M from Cancer Research UK to develop a new tool that could help guide how bowel cancer patients are treated in the future.

Doug Higgs awarded the 2023 Genetics Society Medal

The award recognises Radcliffe Department of Medicine's Professor Higgs major contribution to our understanding of how mammalian genes are switched on and off, and using haematopoiesis as a model to understand how genes function.