Social Deficits of Autism Reversed By Epigenetic Drug

July 31, 2018 Tim Barry

It is estimated that 1 in 59 children in the United States fall somewhere on the autism spectrum. Autism spectrum disorder  (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects the nervous system and is characterized by challenges with speech, social skills and communication.  Many factors can determine a child’s predisposition to developing autism, such as genetic mutations during brain development, chemical imbalance, and certain genetic disorders like tuberous sclerosis  and fragile X syndrome. Autism has been an incredibly difficult disease to [more…]

A Super Brief and Basic Explanation of Epigenetics for Total Beginners

July 30, 2018 WhatIsEpigenetics

Epigenetics, as a simplified definition, is the study of biological mechanisms that will switch genes on and off. What does that mean? Well, if you are new to this whole thing, we first need a quick crash course in biochemistry and genetics before learning exactly what is epigenetics: Cells are fundamental working units of every human being. All the instructions required to direct their activities are contained within the chemical deoxyribonucleic acid, also known as DNA. DNA from humans is [more…]

Epigenetic Mechanism Shows Promise in the Fight Against HIV Latency

July 24, 2018 Tim Barry

HIV is a chronic viral infection that attacks the immune system, eventually incapacitating its ability to fight infection leaving the person vulnerable to the development of AIDS, which often leads to death. Anti-retroviral therapies can help to control the virus, but complete eradication of the virus has been tricky to achieve due its stealthy ability to hide from the immune system. HIV is unable to reproduce itself, so it relies on hijacking cellular machinery in order to ensure its survival. [more…]

Epigenetic Marks From Parents Could Influence Embryo Development and Future Health

July 17, 2018 Tim Barry

DNA is the blueprint from which most living organisms are built. It makes up the genes that carry the distinctive characteristics and information that determine physical appearance and health, and it makes everybody unique. At the beginning of life, human embryos inherit genes from both their mother and father, and although the actual genes cannot be altered, the way they are expressed can be influenced by epigenetics. Parents can have a huge epigenetic influence on the development of an embryo [more…]

Viruses Could Epigenetically Modify a Person’s DNA

July 10, 2018 Tim Barry

Viruses can cause many different health problems in humans including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, herpes, and even cancer.  They are an extremely small foreign organism that invade healthy cells, and seek to wreak havoc in a healthy human or animal. Viruses are comprised of either RNA or DNA covered in a protein shell, and cannot reproduce on their own, so they rely on their host to survive. Once a virus is inside the body, it hijacks the machinery of healthy cells by [more…]

How Epigenetics is Improving Our Understanding of Domestication in Animals

July 3, 2018 Natalie Crowley

Tens of thousands of years ago, humans formed a unique bond with one particular animal, the wolf. And over time with years of interaction and intervention, these wolves transformed. They became docile and less fearful. They changed in appearance, becoming smaller with floppier ears and curled tails. They even learned how to read human facial expressions and take commands. In effect, they were no longer wolves, but an entirely new species — the dog. Dogs, like many other domestic animals, [more…]

WIE-logo-icon

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.