Twin Study Reveals Epigenetic Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

December 21, 2021 Natalie Crowley

Epigenetic scientists have been keen on studying twins, particularly identical twins, as they are the perfect subjects to gain insight into the effects of the environment on the genome, especially when it comes to diseases. Because identical twins share the same DNA, any differences they have that are environmentally induced most likely show up in their epigenome. In a case where one identical twin has a disease, but the other does not, researchers can look at the twins’ environments for [more…]

Impaired Muscle Gene Expression Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

May 25, 2021 Natalie Crowley

Type-2 diabetes comes with a slew of health issues, but one complication that patients often endure is muscle weakness. Poor muscle function makes everyday tasks difficult and reduces activity, which in turn, makes the condition even worse. While exercise and diet can help maintain a patient’s mobility, more information is needed to address the underlying causes that lead to diabetic muscle damage. Scientists at Lund University in Sweden have looked into this matter and have found evidence that one particular [more…]

Early Detection of DNA Methylation in Pancreas Could Help Identify Diabetes

September 15, 2020 Tim Barry

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is an extremely common chronic disease that affects the way the body uses insulin to regulate glucose levels. Specifically, the body either resists the effects of insulin, or it doesn’t produce enough of it to properly metabolize glucose. This could lead to nerve damage, heart and blood vessel complications, and other adverse health effects down the line. There are several factors that could lead to developing T2D, including obesity, lack of exercise, and poor diet. There [more…]

Could a New Epigenetic Blood Test Predict Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?

May 17, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Diabetes is a disease characterized by the body’s inability to properly use insulin and it affects over 29 million Americans. With new epigenetic research, however, the disease may be mitigated with a simple blood test that offers early knowledge and the possibility for pre-emptive lifestyle management. Lund University researchers in Sweden published their study in Nature Communications, in which they discovered a novel biomarker to predict a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. By using a blood test to [more…]

Epigenetics: Feeding the Obesity and Diabetes Epidemic?

March 21, 2016 Bill Sullivan

Every kid reaching for the junk food has heard mom and dad’s warning, “You are what you eat!” But parents should be advised that children can now offer a humbling retort, “No, I’m what YOU ate!” A new study by scientists from the Institute of Experimental Genetics at Helmholtz Zentrum München (Neuherberg, Germany) suggests that the metabolic consequences of mom and dad’s dietary habits can be inherited by their kids via epigenetic mechanisms. So in addition to inheriting a genetic [more…]

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Epigenetics

April 7, 2015 Mary Vagula

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a polygenic metabolic disease characterized by elevated blood sugar levels due to pancreatic beta-cell functional impairment and insulin resistance in tissues such as skeletal muscle, adipose tissue and the liver (1). Millions of people around the globe are diagnosed with diabetes, and its incidence is estimated to double by 2030. It has become one of the most challenging public health issues of 21st century and the fifth leading cause of death worldwide (2). The [more…]

Using CRISPR/Cas9 to Epigenetically Activate or Deactivate Genes

December 7, 2021 Natalie Crowley

Since the discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 system, targeting DNA more precisely for genetic editing has become a lot easier. However, removing part of the genetic code may not be necessary in all cases, especially if there were a way to switch off a gene of interest instead. Thankfully, scientists have found that CRISPR/Cas9 can also be used to do just this – deactivate genes without altering the underlying DNA sequence. When we refer to a cell’s DNA, we’re actually talking [more…]

How Inflammation Epigenetically Primes Epithelial Cells to Promote Pancreatic Cancer 

September 28, 2021 Natalie Crowley

Pancreatic cancer may not be as common as some cancers, but it has a bad reputation for being highly fatal, especially since it’s difficult to detect early. Smoking, diabetes, family history, and alcohol abuse are among the top risk factors associated with this disease. While it’s difficult to determine the exact causes of pancreatic cancer, a key mediator in its development is inflammation. Understanding why inflammation might lead to tumor growth in the pancreas has scientists examining the underlying mechanisms [more…]

Exercise Training Epigenetically Benefits Overall Health

September 14, 2021 Natalie Crowley

There’s no question that exercise is good for you, not only for developing a great physique but for overall health. Some would even say that regular exercise, combined with proper nutrition, is better at preventing and treating certain diseases than many pharmacological interventions. Even so, medical experts are still trying to determine exactly how physical fitness affects the chemical make-up of the body, especially regarding how it reduces the risks of developing chronic illnesses like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and [more…]

Different Food Groups Can Impact Blood Pressure Through Epigenetics

July 6, 2021 Vered Smith

The risk of a person living in an industrialized country developing high blood pressure during their life is over 90% [1]. Left uncontrolled for a long time, high blood pressure together with conditions like obesity, diabetes, and excess lipid (hyperlipidemia) can generate serious illnesses like heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, dementia, and early death [1]. Despite available and effective medicine, most patients with high blood pressure – or hypertension, as it’s known scientifically – cannot heal it. This is somewhat [more…]

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