What is Epigenetics technical articles are geared towards epigenetic research techniques, news, and trends in the field of epigenetics, written by scientists from universities and institutions including UCLA, Hofstra, NIH, Johns Hopkins, and more.
Explore in detail new epigenetic research techniques and tips for topics like next-generation sequencing (NGS) in epigenetics, m6A RNA methylation, CRISPR/Cas9 system epigenetic editing, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) protocol optimization, and single-cell epigenomics methods.
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This article was first published by EpigenTek. It would be a near impossible feat for the human genome, consisting of some 3 billion bases, to fit within its relatively miniscule cellular accommodations if not for the help of a family of very critical DNA-interacting proteins. Histones are the primary protein constituent of chromatin, forming complexes with DNA to compact our rather expansive genetic material for efficient nuclear organization. But make no mistake, these protein “spools” are not merely packaging units [more…]
Think of DNA as a thread wound around a spool. It’s packed and wrapped around structures called nucleosomes, resembling beads along the thread. This compact packaging provides organization and protection for the DNA. However, in areas where the DNA is densely packed, it can pose a challenge for proteins attempting to reach it. Interestingly, there are certain proteins that possess the remarkable ability to access tightly wound DNA. These proteins, known as pioneer transcription factors, have evolved special mechanisms that [more…]
All cancerous tumors exhibit these reversible epigenetic changes that could represent novel reprogrammable targets to address drug resistance (1). Recent research published in Communications Biology provides essential information about the specific epigenetic alterations that may be responsible for chemotherapy resistance (2). Drug Resistance in Cancer More than 90% of the mortality caused by cancer can be linked to drug resistance (3). The molecular mechanisms mediating drug resistance in cancerous cells include increased function of enzymes that render drugs ineffective, mutations [more…]
Associations between prenatal exposure to chemicals like endocrine disruptors found in plastics and the development of neurological diseases later in life have been well described (1). Although mechanisms have been proposed for how endocrine disruptors affect human health (2), those mediating the development of neurological conditions like autism and dementia have been difficult to elucidate because of the multifactorial nature of these diseases. Researchers, therefore, considered the issue through a new lens: inherited DNA methylation patterns. Bisphenols and phthalates are [more…]
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first recognized at the beginning of 2020 and is responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The persistence of the virus has been partly accredited to its effective suppression of host cell responses. As such, continued research in elucidating the dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle is essential to facilitate the design and development of novel diagnostics and suitable therapies. Although reports suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can dysregulate the host’s gene expression and innate [more…]
“The fifth RNA base” N6-methyladenosine, or m6A, is the most common and abundant eukaryotic RNA modification, accounting for over 80% of all RNA methylation. It can be found mainly in mRNA, but is also observed in non-coding species like tRNA, rRNA, and miRNA. Through interactions with various binding proteins called “readers”, m6A affects virtually every facet of ribonucleic acid biology: structure, splicing, localization, translation, stability, and turnover . Aside from this central role in RNA metabolism, m6A is a factor [more…]
This article was first published by EpigenTek. In the early 1960s, Vincent G. Allfrey and his colleagues at the Rockefeller Institute (today’s Rockefeller University) demonstrated by way of C14 labeling the incorporation of methyl and acetyl groups into histones.1 The evidence suggested that these chemical additions succeeded protein synthesis, although the means by which they were incorporated as well as the extent of their biological significance were not fully understood at the time. Allfrey’s pioneering work effectively laid the foundation for histone [more…]
Decades of antibiotic and antifungal use have dramatically impacted the global microbiome, with ramifications for agriculture and human health. Worries are mounting but no systematic plans of action are forthcoming. Though that is not to say there are no slivers of hope. While they are still largely confined to immunocompromised patients, fungal infections are a looming public health crisis. Invasive candidiasis is increasingly caused by multidrug-resistant non-albicans yeasts and nearly 60% of C. parapsilosi sampled in South Africa are now [more…]
For centuries, scientists and philosophers have been fascinated with learning about the brain. However, it hasn’t been until the last few decades that we’ve really been able to examine this complex organ in action. One advanced technology that has revolutionized our understanding of the human brain is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While this method has been extremely useful for measuring neural activity, it hasn’t been used to assess gene regulation – that is, until now. The University of Illinois (U [more…]
The body’s first line of defense against infection is the innate immune system. Although it is non-specific and less effective than the acquired immune system, it responds to invading pathogens much faster, holding off an immunological threat until a specific response can be mobilized. One integral part of the innate immune system is natural killer cells (NK). As their name suggests, these cells are capable of killing affected cells autonomously while also signaling an immune response as they secrete pro-inflammatory [more…]