Bisulfite Sequencing Reveals the Evolution of a Popular Songbird’s Memory and Learning

February 9, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

The genome and methylome of a popular songbird, Parus major, or more commonly called the great tit, has just been revealed. Researchers have long awaited this data and can now use these findings to learn more about how one the field’s favorite songbirds has adapted to the changing world. Using bisulfite conversion followed by whole-genome bisulfite sequencing, the results indicate that the chemical marks above the DNA sequence that influence gene expression – known as epigenetic modifications – play an [more…]

DNA Methyltransferase (DNMT) Could Help Boost Memory and Reduce Anxiety

February 2, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Imagine if increasing a certain type of epigenetic enzyme could ease anxiety or cure post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by simply erasing troubling memories? What if it could also enhance cognitive abilities and improve long-term memory and learning? In previous blog articles, researchers found that an immune-suppressing drug that inhibits HDACs could stop aversive memories and the epigenetic mechanism known as histone acetylation might play a role in memory plasticity. Although we are far from developing epigenetic therapies to erase traumatic [more…]

HDAC Inhibitor Could Sharpen Memory and Treat Cancer

December 1, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

New research has found that a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor drug used to treat cancer could also help sharpen memory and improve one’s ability to learn a new language. It could even help rewire the brain and sustain neurons which could be of benefit to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. Researchers from Rutgers published a study in the Journal of Neuroscience that investigated a cancer treatment drug, RGFP966, and found that it had other positive effects that were previously [more…]

An Epigenetic Link Between Memory Loss and Epilepsy

June 30, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have discovered a potential epigenetic explanation for why individuals with epilepsy, particularly temporal lobe epilepsy, usually experience memory loss. They even propose a way to undo that loss of memory. Published recently in the Annals of Translational and Clinical Neurology, a group of UAB scientists believes their results could progress our understanding of numerous other disorders involving memory loss and could lead to a therapeutic approach for restoring proper memory function via [more…]

Expanding Knowledge of DNA Methylation and Alzheimer’s Disease

September 2, 2014 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) conducted a study recently demonstrating how an epigenetic alteration to DNA of the brain is connected to Alzheimer’s disease. The team looked at DNA methylation, which is an epigenetic mechanism that occurs when a methyl group is added to the cytosine or adenine of DNA. This epigenetic mechanism, as well as others such as DNA demethylation and histone acetylation, have the ability to turn on or off genes. [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.