About Bailey Kirkpatrick
Bailey Kirkpatrick is a science writer with a background in epigenetics and psychology and a passion for conveying scientific concepts to the wider community. She enjoys speculating about the implications of epigenetics and how it might impact our perception of wellbeing and the development of novel preventative strategies. When she’s not combing through research articles, she also enjoys discovering new foods, taking nighttime strolls, and discussing current events over a hoppy IPA or cold-brewed coffee.

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…]

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…]

Casticin Found Naturally in Fruits May Epigenetically Fight Off Stomach Cancer

April 25, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Casticin, a type of flavonoid, could adjust chemical tags on DNA to stave off gastric cancer, a recent study suggests. Found in wormwood and various fruits, including chasteberry and oil from the chaste tree, casticin is able to epigenetically impact the expression of a gene that inhibits stomach cancer. Although additional research and clinical studies are needed, the results hint that consuming a naturally occurring plant compound might fight tumor growth. Gastric cancer, often caused by an infection from H. [more…]

A Child’s Mental Fitness Could Be Epigenetically Influenced by Dad’s Diet

April 18, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

We often think that taking supplements is a good thing – but what if we consume too much? And could doing so negatively affect our children? Researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) found that fathers who consumed an excessive amount of certain supplements could epigenetically harm their offspring, affecting their children’s memory and learning ability. As we know, a mother has profound impact on her children and their development. Epigenetic research has shown that mothers can influence [more…]

Epigenetic Computer Program ‘CancerLocator’ Detects and Pinpoints Cancer

April 11, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

What if instead of invasive cancer tests, scientists could run a blood sample through a computer program and not only detect whether cancer is present or not, but pinpoint where in the body it’s located? This technology, harnessed by a program called CancerLocator, could potentially be ready in a year. In a recent study published in Genome Biology, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) developed a computer program that identifies specific epigenetic patterns, or a combination [more…]

Most Dangerous Lifestyle Activity Uncovered in New Epigenetic Mortality Risk Profile

March 28, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Aging and mortality has been a fascinating topic of interest recently, particularly in the field of epigenetics. What are the chemical DNA markers of age? Can we look at someone’s epigenome to determine their risk for death? Could we reverse these epigenetic tags to restore youth or undo the pesky physical characteristics and diseases that come with getting old? And are there lifestyle changes we may need to make to epigenetically improve our own health? Although we are far from [more…]

Natural Compound in Cypress Trees Might Epigenetically Protect Against Cancer

March 21, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

A chemical in an essential oil extracted from tree bark might actually reduce cancer growth. Researchers are finding that hinokitiol, a compound found in some cypress trees, not only has anti-infective and anti-oxidative properties, but it might also impact the epigenetic tags on top of DNA and reactivate genes that fight against tumor growth. The epigenetic mechanism known as DNA methylation has been crucial to our understanding of cancer. Irregular methylation suppresses genes that work to reduce tumor growth, which [more…]

Can Epigenetics Explain the Mystery of Right and Left Handedness?

March 14, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Are you among the 90% of people who are right-handed or the 10% who are lefties? Have you ever wondered why you naturally favor a certain hand over the other? Now, researchers are suggesting that epigenetics could be the explanation. They are finding that handedness may not be dictated by the brain, as previously thought, but by the environment and epigenetic marks in the spinal cord. “These results fundamentally change our understanding of the cause of hemispheric asymmetries,” the authors concluded [more…]

Cut Out the Hype: Gene Editing With CRISPR and the Truth about Superhuman ‘Designer Babies’

February 28, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Stories about a mysterious tool that can cut out and replace genes have crept out from behind the lab walls and entered boldly into the public spotlight. Nowadays, CRISPR is everywhere. And we can’t help but let our imaginations wander, especially when the questions posed by this novel gene editing technology come straight out of a sci-fi movie. Can we edit out bad genes that cause diseases in humans and replace them with healthy ones? Might parents be able to [more…]

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