Histone Modifications Reveal Further Insight into the Process of Aging

February 23, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Epigenetic research on the potential molecular causes of aging has piqued the curiosity of many people who want to know if it’s possible to slow aging or, perhaps, stop it altogether. The process of aging comes along with physiological changes that decrease the body’s ability to repair tissue and increase vulnerability to metabolic diseases. Overall, metabolic activity levels are reduced and missteps in gene activity regulation occur more often as one ages. In a new article published in EMBO Reports, [more…]

Epigenetic Reprogramming Gone Awry in Embryo May Lead to Abnormal Adult Behavior

February 16, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Epigenetic reprogramming occurs to the developing mammalian zygote immediately after fertilization and is crucial for proper development. This reprogramming is defined as the erasure of epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation and histone modifications. Researchers continue to uncover new information about the changes made to epigenetic marks on the embryo’s epigenome. In fact, a new study has found that when the process of epigenetic reprogramming goes awry, it can have severe consequences later in development, for instance, leading to abnormal [more…]

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…]


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