Scientists Use Machine Learning to Develop an Epigenetic Clock for Predicting Biological Age Better

February 20, 2024 Natalie Crowley

In the quest to unravel the mysteries of aging, scientists have long turned to our genetic code for answers. While machine learning models have offered insights into predicting biological age, understanding the causal factors behind aging has yet to be discovered. However, a groundbreaking study has now shed light on the hidden workings of aging by delving deep into the intricate realm of epigenetics. Scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, part of Mass General Brigham, have developed an innovative “epigenetic [more…]

Type 2 Diabetes Linked with Epigenetic Changes

February 6, 2024 Elizabeth Fontanilles

Diabetes is a widespread health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. The disease is complex and can develop due to a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. Given its increasing prevalence, scientists worldwide are investigating the underlying genetic complexities and epigenetic factors of diabetes in more detail. One question that researchers are interested in is whether epigenetic changes cause type 2 diabetes or if the changes occur only after a person has become ill. A new study by Lund [more…]

Positive Parenting May Reverse Epigenetic Age in Children Affected by Adversity

January 23, 2024 Natalie Crowley

Growing up amid adversity, encompassing elements like poverty, child maltreatment, and community violence, not only poses a significant risk for psychopathology and lifelong health challenges but also has been shown to accelerate the biological or epigenetic aging process in children. However, a new study featuring research conducted in the lab of Professor Justin Parent, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Rhode Island, has introduced a promising prospect. Positive parenting interventions might hold the key to slowing down [more…]

Epigenetic Study Unveils Vital Role of Housekeeping Genetic Elements and Potential for Cancer Therapy

January 9, 2024 Natalie Crowley

Advancements in technology have opened doors for scientists to delve deep into the complex world of genetic control elements, unveiling the intricate mechanisms governing gene activation within our genetic code. Contrary to the simplistic perception of cis-regulatory elements (CREs) as mere genetic on/off switches, emerging evidence underscores their capacity for nuanced behaviors. They’re not just toggles for gene enhancement; they orchestrate complex functions pivotal to sustaining cellular health. New research originating from Japan has uncovered about 11,000 significant genetic switches, [more…]

DNA Methylation Editing: Expert Insights into the Technologies, Challenges, and Future Perspectives

December 26, 2023 Mike Spelios

This article was first published by EpigenTek. Since the 1970s when studies on the epigenetics of chromatin first started, histone and DNA marks, especially DNA methylation, have become the most investigated and characterized epigenetic modifications to date [Razin]. DNA methylation has garnered significant attention within the field as a pivotal regulator of gene expression. Its extensive influence on biological processes, ranging from development to disease, has redefined our comprehension of genetic control and prompted innovative approaches for medical interventions. During development, [more…]

Twins Study Reveals Epigenetic Signature Linked to Obesity

December 12, 2023 Elizabeth Fontanilles

Obesity stands as a multifaceted health concern affecting millions worldwide. While diet and lifestyle play pivotal roles, researchers are now looking much deeper to determine if susceptibility to obesity could be identified at a molecular level within human cells. In a recent study led by distinguished biology professor Michael Skinner at Washington State University (WSU), a comprehensive twin study was undertaken to probe the epigenetic factors associated with obesity. Their findings uncovered specific DNA methylation regions (DMRs) intricately connected to [more…]

Epigenetic Changes Dictate Cancer’s Course

November 29, 2023 Natalie Crowley

Understanding the intricate interplay between genetics and cancer progression has long captivated the scientific community. While genetic mutations have been the main focal point in oncology, recent strides have illuminated the profound influence of epigenetic modifications in the development of cancer. In a recent study published in the journal Nature, Dr. Eduard Porta from the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute and his team have shed light on the pivotal role that epigenetics plays in steering cells on their journey from [more…]

Unveiling the Epigenetic Impact of Formaldehyde: A Hazardous Environmental Pollutant

November 14, 2023 Natalie Crowley

A global team of researchers has unveiled a groundbreaking revelation regarding formaldehyde, a pervasive environmental pollutant and a common metabolite in the human body. Contrary to its previous characterization solely as a DNA mutagen, formaldehyde has been found to disrupt the epigenetic programming of cells, establishing a deeper link with cancer. Dr. Lucas Pontel, group leader at the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute, and Dr. Manel Esteller, group leader and director of the institution, collaborated on the published paper in [more…]

AI Detects Disease Clues from DNA Methylation Data

November 1, 2023 Natalie Crowley

Artificial intelligence (AI) holds immense potential to transform healthcare by unraveling intricate patterns within complex biological data, laying the foundation for personalized medical solutions. Researchers at Linköping University in Sweden have pioneered an AI-driven method to analyze epigenetic data, with wide-ranging applications in medicine and biology. Their advanced models not only accurately estimate individuals’ chronological age but also discern their smoking history. In the realm of genetics, numerous factors come into play, dictating which genes are activated or deactivated at [more…]

Epigenetic study uncovers non-coding Alzheimer’s-related genetic variants

October 17, 2023 Natalie Crowley

In the ongoing pursuit of understanding Alzheimer’s disease (AD), scientists are taking a closer look at the genetic landscape. Their investigation has revealed thousands of genetic variants linked to AD, many of which were once overlooked as non-coding regions of the genome. Recent advancements in the field of epigenetics have illuminated the critical role these non-coding variants play in gene regulation. However, how these gene changes affect Alzheimer’s risk and brain cells is still unclear. Researchers from the University of [more…]

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