Epigenetics in the Eye of the Beholder: DNA Hydroxymethylation Affects Retinal Development

August 25, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Something we may take for granted is how effortless it is for us to see, to experience the world around us without a second thought. But vision is an incredibly complex process that comes with a complicated functional network involving the generation, positioning, and synaptic wiring of neurons. Consisting of unique nerve cells constructed during early development, these neuronal circuits are typically created within the first week the eye is directly exposed to light. At this time, differentiation of neuronal [more…]

Does DNA Methyltransferase Control the Brain’s ‘Gender’?

August 18, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Did you know that most animals’ brains develop to be either female or male? Certain portions are different sizes and the amount of neurons and synaptic connections vary. These structural differences likely explain why women and men generally differ in terms of language abilities, navigational skills, and response to emotional situations. While the sexualization of the brain happens prenatally, scientists are still wondering how exactly this differentiation happens. A study conducted by a research team at UM SOM, the University [more…]

New Function of ‘Master Regulator’ in Pancreatic Cell Formation Uncovered in Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Study

August 11, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Can a gene direct embryonic stem cells (ESCs) to develop into one organ, while also serving to prevent it from becoming another?  Researchers at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore used a technique known as chromatin immunoprecipitation to demonstrate this occurrence. They found that one particular human gene directs ESCs to develop into a pancreas but also, at the same time, it acts as a repressor by preventing the stem cells from turning into liver cells. [more…]

New SMRT-BS Method to Revolutionize Quantitative, Multiplexed Targeted Bisulfite Sequencing for Methylation Analysis

August 4, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Bisulfite sequencing offers researchers a profound look into the epigenome and the methylation status of genes. A significant driving force in the development of epigenetic research since 1992, the detection of CpG methylation and methylation abnormalities in DNA via bisulfite sequencing has become overwhelmingly popular – and interest continues to grow. The unparalleled power of next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms provides researchers with new insights into the nuances of gene expression and countless other critical cellular processes. Still, bioinformatics expertise, cost, [more…]


If you like reading our articles…

Join our e-newsletter! Stay up-to-date with our weekly posts on epigenetics and health, nutrition, exercise, and more.