B Vitamins Protect Against Harmful Epigenetic Effects of Air Pollution

May 30, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Air pollution has a negative impact on our health and can also adjust important chemical tags on our DNA. Aside from taking steps to reduce pollution in our communities, a new study suggests that we can take B vitamins to combat the harmful effects on our bodies. Particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometers, or 3% of the diameter of human hair, is known as PM2.5. These fine particles have been shown to wreak epigenetic havoc on our [more…]

Muffins Reveal Epigenetic Impact of Saturated and Polyunsaturated Fats on Our Bodies

May 23, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Muffins – not only are they delicious, but they offer valuable insight into how different foods we eat might alter our DNA. New research that builds off of the popular “muffin study” that was published a few years ago suggests that eating a certain type of fat may actually adjust marks on your DNA and contribute to the way your body stores fat. We often hear that saturated fat – found in butter, cheese, cream, chocolate, and sausage, for example [more…]

A Novel Role for RNA Methylation (m6A) in the DNA Damage Response

May 18, 2017 Blanca Valle

Every day our cells undergo substantial amounts of DNA damage from exogenous and endogenous sources. UV light, in particular, can cause an estimated 100,000 lesions per cell every day. Left unrepaired, these DNA lesions could lead to induction of senescence, cell death or mutations, which could be responsible for the development of cancer, neurodegeneration and several other diseases. However, our organisms have developed a mechanism to recognize the DNA damage caused by UV light and other damaging agents, in the [more…]

Epigenetic Enzyme Could Play a Role in Reducing Fat as We Age

May 16, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Whether we like it or not, we’re faced with many physical changes as we get older. Wrinkles form, bones and muscles grow weaker… even the way fat is distributed throughout the body changes radically. As we age, we lose a certain type of fat cell that burns fatty deposits, which increases the risk for obesity. But there may be hope. Interestingly, researchers are finding that an epigenetic enzyme might be able to prevent this pesky change from happening. Epigenetics has [more…]

Open Mind, Open Genes: Exercising Your Epigenetic Power with Yoga

May 9, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Can yogic poses like downward facing dog improve your health by adjusting tiny chemical tags on your DNA? A calmer, relaxed mind after an intense yoga session seems to go hand-in-hand with bolstered health and a reduced chance of disease. Epigenetics, or the study of biological changes that occur due to different chemical marks that alter the expression of our genes, is showing that the beneficial effects of yoga penetrate deep into our minds and bodies — and may even [more…]

Ginger’s Potent Epigenetic Health Benefits

May 2, 2017 WhatIsEpigenetics

Ginger root, or the rhizome of the flowering ginger plant (Zingiber officinale), has been cultivated for millennia for use as both a spice added to food as well as a tonic used to cure ailments. Though originating in southeast Asia, ginger was used extensively by the Romans up until the fall of the Roman Empire where it then began being more widely traded and slowly crept into homes around the world. Now, the field of epigenetics is delving into the [more…]