The Epigenetics Lurking in Your Halloween Candy

October 29, 2014 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Halloween marks the joyous time to carve pumpkins, dress up in frightening garb, and – most importantly – gorge ourselves on sugary candies that seem to be in never-ending supply. It seems harmless enough to snack on some candy corn and taffy and Milk Duds and Twizzlers and… well, you get the idea. Treating yourself to “just a little” candy on Halloween doesn’t seem very harmless, but do you know the epigenetic power that might be lurking in your Halloween [more…]

Advancements in DNA Methylation Analysis Technologies

October 21, 2014 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Recent developments in DNA methylation analysis technologies have made it crucial for researchers to understand which tool is optimal for their epigenetic research. These new methods pose exciting opportunities never before imagined, allowing for epigenetic variation to be connected to phenotypic consequences on a much grander scale and at single-base resolution. In a recent issue of an epigenetics newsletter, The Decoder, scientists at Epigentek discuss the latest progress made in profiling genome-wide and region-specific DNA methylation and offer suggestions on [more…]

A Researcher’s Guide to Successful DNA Bisulfite Conversion

October 14, 2014 Milka Rodriguez

DNA bisulfite conversion is a unique tool used to discriminate between methylated and unmethylated cytosines for DNA methylation studies. Only bisulfite modification of DNA followed by sequencing yields reliable information on the methylation states of individual cytosines at single base resolution. The bisulfite modification technique uses bisulfite salt to deaminate cytosine residues on single-stranded DNA, converting them to uracil while leaving 5-methylcytosine unchanged (Figure 1). To effectively and efficiently prepare converted DNA for use in various downstream analyses, an ideal [more…]

Paternal Care of Stickleback Fish Hints at Epigenetic Influence on Offspring Behaviors

October 7, 2014 Bailey Kirkpatrick

We have previously seen how a mother’s environment or her behaviors might epigenetically affect her offspring. Now we have results that hint at the epigenetic effect fathers may pass on through generations. In a previous article we explored the heritability of alcoholism and how dad’s drinking could epigenetically affect a son’s preference for alcohol. In a new study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, researchers found that stickleback fish fathers may potentially alter their young epigenetically through increased [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.