Disclaimer: Some articles in this section are to primarily serve entertainment purposes implied through scientific evidence, and may contain points that represent a speculative opinion of the author based on related scholarly publications on animal and human studies.

Cut Out the Hype: Gene Editing With CRISPR and the Truth about Superhuman ‘Designer Babies’

February 28, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Stories about a mysterious tool that can cut out and replace genes have crept out from behind the lab walls and entered boldly into the public spotlight. Nowadays, CRISPR is everywhere. And we can’t help but let our imaginations wander, especially when the questions posed by this novel gene editing technology come straight out of a sci-fi movie. Can we edit out bad genes that cause diseases in humans and replace them with healthy ones? Might parents be able to [more…]

3 Pioneering Epigenetic Labs: Exploring the People and Discoveries that Transcend the Lab Walls

July 28, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

It’s undeniable – the emerging field of epigenetics has ignited the interests of scientists worldwide, fueling discoveries that often raise more questions than they offer answers. New grad students and seasoned PIs alike are delving into the nuances of the molecular epigenetic machinery within us. Even a growing number of specialized labs and institutions are designated solely to epigenetics. But, who are the people behind the bench, stoking the fire within the lab walls with their fervent dedication to scientific [more…]

The Epigenetics Behind the Flu

November 17, 2015 Natalie Crowley

When the flu hits, it typically hits hard and fast. At first, you might only notice a slight cough and some sniffles and then, before you know it, you’re unable to get out of bed. The fever, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, and overall exhaustion take over your body and you’re done for — at least for a few days, if you’re lucky. Influenza (aka “the flu”) is a dreadful virus that’s seriously contagious and seemingly unavoidable for some. In [more…]

Epigenetics: Avoiding the Pull of Pseudoscientific Nonsense

November 3, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Serious concerns have been raised recently regarding the widespread misuse of the hot new term “epigenetics,” particularly by self-proclaimed gurus or, if you prefer, “legion purveyors of flapdoodle.” Some claim that, with the power of your mind, you can epigenetically cure or develop cancer, that positive thoughts can actually relax and lengthen DNA strands, or that happiness sits in reserves on your DNA eagerly waiting to spring to life at the command of your beliefs, emotions, and behavior! In general, [more…]

Could Epigenetics Help Feed the World?

July 14, 2015 Natalie Crowley

If you were a teenager in 1985, like I was, you probably remember spending an entire day in July plopped in front of the TV watching one of the greatest concerts of all time – Live Aid. The legendary concert broadcast-live around the world that featured an amazing line-up of rock stars was, and still is, the most successful charity event ever held. But, let us not forget its purpose – to raise money and awareness for the famine that [more…]

The Epigenetics of Father’s Day: 3 Little Known Reasons to Thank Your Dad

June 16, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Along with Father’s Day comes the typical thank-yous, the gratitude that never quite seems to be enough for the love Dad has shown for all the years. Maybe your father encouraged you through difficult times or supported you when you needed it most. These are wonderful things to thank your dad for, but there might be something you’ve been missing all along. Have you ever thought of thanking him for being an epigenetic hero? Your dad’s behavior and experiences may [more…]

3 Epigenetic Reasons to Meditate Your Stress Away

May 19, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Feeling stressed? You’re not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, people are living with stress at levels higher than what is considered healthy. Unsurprisingly, the APA found the top four sources of stress to be money, work, family responsibilities, and health concerns. Are you nervous about that project that’s due this week? Worried about the last of your sample that’s incubating in the lab? Perhaps you’re just convinced money is some sort of mythical object that you might one [more…]

DNA Methylation Solves Crimes

April 21, 2015 Fides Lay

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 to clear her name, it was medical examiner Dr. Melinda Warner who came up with the answer. Normal DNA, she explained, is about 80% [more…]

Could Epigenetics Explain the Origins of Allergic Disease?

March 24, 2015 Natalie Crowley

Finally, spring is here – that wonderful time of year when the temperature starts to rise and everything is in bloom. But for many of us, it also marks the beginning of allergy season. That means itchy watery eyes, sneezing, running nose, coughing and overall misery. But allergies don’t just affect people in the spring and they are not all related to weather. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1), more than 50 million Americans have an allergy [more…]

The Epigenetics of Sleep: 3 Reasons to Catch More Zzz’s

March 3, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Although the mysteries surrounding sleep are still being uncovered by scientists, we do know that sleep is crucial to our daytime functioning and is vital for processes such as learning and consolidation of memories. Unfortunately, we often fail to get enough sleep even when we know how important it is. Trying to compensate for poor sleep by sleeping more on the weekends or drinking stimulants like coffee just to stay awake can actually end up doing more harm than good. [more…]

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