Bailey Kirkpatrick
About Bailey Kirkpatrick
Bailey Kirkpatrick is the Senior Editor at What Is Epigenetics and a science writer with a background in epigenetics and psychology with 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 barrel-aged sour beer or cold-brewed coffee.

One Night Without Sleep Could Trigger Epigenetic Changes and Weight Gain

September 4, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Even just one night of sleep loss could lead to epigenetic changes that tweak our metabolism and regulation of gene expression, a new study suggests. Researchers at Uppsala University found that one night without sleep was linked to alteration of the human epigenome, weight gain, and the loss of lean muscle mass. Previous research has shown that skipping sleep lowers the body’s protective antioxidant levels and leads to epigenetic changes. Sleep deprivation can also impact histone modifications and impair memory. [more…]

Exposure to Cold Temperatures Can Change Our Gene Expression and Fat Cells

August 14, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Long-term exposure to cold temperatures could actually affect our gene expression and influence our fat cells, a recent study suggests. Research published in Nature Communications offers more evidence on how lifestyle choices and exposure to our environment can dictate the way our genes express themselves, an overarching theme of epigenetics. A group of researchers based out of Tokyo worked alongside colleagues from around the world to track changes to the epigenome following long-term exposure to cold temperatures. They discovered that [more…]

Researchers Modify CRISPR/Cas9 System to Target Epigenetics and Reverse Diseases

June 26, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

CRISPR/Cas9 is receiving a lot of buzz as a precise gene editing tool, but did you know it may also be an epigenome editing tool? Scientists from the Salk Institute used a modified CRISPR/Cas9 technique to alter gene activity rather than altering the actual underlying gene itself. They accomplished this in mouse models with disease-associated genes, treating several different diseases including kidney disease, muscular dystrophy, and type 1 diabetes. In 2014, What is Epigenetics covered the breakthrough of CRISPR/Cas9 and [more…]

Could We Reverse Alzheimer’s Symptoms by Restoring Epigenetic Balance?

June 12, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Fascinating new research out of Drexel University suggests that restoring balance to certain epigenetic enzymes might reinstate memory and lead us closer to a potential therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. This devastating type of dementia causes issues with memory, cognition, and behavior. Could epigenetics help reverse symptoms and bring back cognitive abilities in those with Alzheimer’s? The symptoms usually appear gradually and worsen over time, such as memory loss, difficulty planning or solving problems, and confusion with time or place. According [more…]

Parents Who Exercise Could Epigenetically Pass on Heightened Learning Ability to Their Children

May 29, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Exercising your body and your brain are two ways to improve your own health. It’s well known that physical and mental activity can boost learning ability and reduce risk for diseases such as Alzheimer’s. But, could doing so also directly benefit your future children? New research in Cell Reports indicates that a child’s capacity for learning could actually be boosted as a result of the physical and mental exercise that their parents carried out before they were born. Researchers are [more…]

Epigenetics, Nutrition, and Our Health: How What We Eat Could Affect Tags on Our DNA

May 15, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Many of us are familiar with the foods that damage our bodies – they slow our metabolism, might add a few pounds, and stiffen our arteries. But what if certain food items could help or harm us in a place we may never have considered – like our DNA? A developing field called nutriepigenomics examines the connection between diet and chemical marks that can be attached to or removed from our DNA, thereby turning genes on or off. Many new [more…]

Early Epigenetic Nutrition ‘Memory’ Could Program You for Obesity Later in Life

April 24, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

For decades, we’ve known how important it is to receive proper nutrition during early stages of life. Nutritional experiences in the beginning of development can set the stage for many things, including body weight, and can even affect the risk of obesity as we get older. Recent research supports the idea that poor nutrition at the beginning of pregnancy or while a baby is nursing can be stored as molecular epigenetic “memory” on the child’s genome, potentially setting them up [more…]

EpigenCare Pioneers Personalized Skincare Based on Your Unique Epigenetic Signature

March 15, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Pinpointing factors that make a person unique could shift the entire landscape of how we attend to our health – from exercise plans to custom diets and even skincare regimens. The concept of personalization has pierced the bubble of the prevailing “one size fits all” mentality, deflating the flawed notion that what works for the majority will likely work for anyone. When it comes to our bodies’ largest organ, and caring for it effectively, epigenetics may provide an answer. Our [more…]

Maybe She’s Born With it, Maybe it’s Epigenetics: 5 Tips for Beauty and Anti-Aging

February 20, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

We might say a beautiful woman is born with her looks or that she was endowed with good genes. But what if some of her beauty comes from reversible marks on top of her genes? The epigenetic tags on her DNA might be contributing to her glowing skin, young complexion, and silken hair. Interestingly, there may even be ways in which simple lifestyle changes could adjust these epigenetic tags, modulating the expression of certain genes that promote beauty and health. [more…]

Muscles ‘Remember’ Previous Exercise in the Form of Epigenetic Tags on DNA

February 13, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Our muscles may actually possess a molecular memory in the form of epigenetic marks on our DNA. According to a study published in Scientific Reports, these chemical tags tell a tale of when skeletal muscles grew after exercise and could possibly help them grow bigger later on. Although you might think that month-long resistance training class that you’ve been meaning to sign up for again was all for naught, your muscles might actually remember it. Even if taking an exercise [more…]

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