Jumping Enzyme Discovered in Nucleus Influences Epigenetic Regulation

A study led by a team of researchers at the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta sheds light on a new, interesting way metabolism is connected to DNA regulation. The discovery may add an important piece to the puzzle in scientists’ quest to understand diseases and their epigenetic basis. One such … Continue reading Jumping Enzyme Discovered in Nucleus Influences Epigenetic Regulation

DNA Methylation, Melting DNA, and Twins: Advancing Forensic Investigations

DNA profiling, also known as genetic fingerprinting has been crucial to the forensic investigation of crime scenes since the 1980s. Although important to the success of many cases, this technique comes with some limitations, particularly when investigators are trying to match DNA evidence to a twin. Using this method, it is difficult to conclusively determine … Continue reading DNA Methylation, Melting DNA, and Twins: Advancing Forensic Investigations

DNA Methylation Solves Crimes

In an episode of the popular procedural drama Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, entitled ‘Perverted’, the show’s protagonist, Detective Olivia Benson, was accused of murder after her DNA was found to match DNA isolated from blood recovered from the murder weapon. Without alibi, Detective Benson was arrested, her reputation in jeopardy. As her colleagues worked … Continue reading DNA Methylation Solves Crimes

Being Overweight Adds Distinct Epigenetic Marks to DNA

Extra weight that you may have put on during the holidays could not only appear around your belly, but also add epigenetic tags to your DNA, suggests a new study. Having a high body mass index (BMI) was linked to additional methyl tags found at more than 200 areas on the genome, which affects gene expression and … Continue reading Being Overweight Adds Distinct Epigenetic Marks to DNA

DNA Methylation Could Explain How People Respond to Fear and Anger

A region of the brain known as the amygdala is normally activated when people perceive fear and anger in others. This region, which is part of the limbic system, conveys the message to other regions of the brain to prepare oneself for what may be a threatening situation. We’ve seen previous research that offers an epigenetic … Continue reading DNA Methylation Could Explain How People Respond to Fear and Anger

Bisphenol A Can Reprogram Liver’s Epigenome and Result in Disease in Rats

There has been growing literature that suggests how environmental chemical exposure can lead to birth defects but the majority of the studies are association based. A fraction of those studies have shown how ambient chemical exposure affects insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism1  or affecting gut-microbiota2. But how early life chemical exposure can affect epigenetics—or change the epigenome … Continue reading Bisphenol A Can Reprogram Liver’s Epigenome and Result in Disease in Rats

Smoking Cigarettes Stamps Harmful Epigenetic Fingerprint on DNA

Not only does cigarette smoke severely harm the body, it also leaves behind long-lasting damage on DNA, according to a recent study. An unwanted surplus of chemical marks are added to specific spots on the genome of a smoker, which may give rise to diseases such as a cancer, cardiovascular and lung disorders, and osteoporosis. … Continue reading Smoking Cigarettes Stamps Harmful Epigenetic Fingerprint on DNA

Maternal Smoking Epigenetically Harms Child Development

Thankfully, smoking is a habit all pregnant women are advised to break. But, surprisingly, this wasn’t always the case, especially in the 1940s and 1950s when doctors endorsed smoking in tobacco advertisements. Tobacco companies even ran ads hinting that pregnant women could smoke as a way to calm their nerves. With the influx of research … Continue reading Maternal Smoking Epigenetically Harms Child Development

Most Dangerous Lifestyle Activity Uncovered in New Epigenetic Mortality Risk Profile

Aging and mortality has been a fascinating topic of interest recently, particularly in the field of epigenetics. What are the chemical DNA markers of age? Can we look at someone’s epigenome to determine their risk for death? Could we reverse these epigenetic tags to restore youth or undo the pesky physical characteristics and diseases that come … Continue reading Most Dangerous Lifestyle Activity Uncovered in New Epigenetic Mortality Risk Profile

Targeting Epigenetics and Metabolism to Prevent Cancer Growth

New research has helped to clear up the function of a well-known tumor suppressor gene, RB, which prevents aberrant cell growth. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona have found that pRb, or retinoblastoma protein, is a tumor suppressing protein encoded by RB that maintains proper functioning of … Continue reading Targeting Epigenetics and Metabolism to Prevent Cancer Growth