Epigenetic Research for Space Exploration

September 19, 2017 Natalie Crowley

Sixty years ago this October, a tiny little beach ball-sized satellite named Sputnik would usher in the beginning of the space age. Since that time, several space exploration achievements have transpired and many have included humans traveling in space. But humans weren’t exactly meant to live in outer space. Our bodies are uniquely adapted to the Earth’s gravity and environment. So if we want to travel longer distances into space, Mars for example, then we need to know how the [more…]

Blocking a Specific Epigenetic Enzyme Could Prevent Diabetic-Related Heart Failure

August 29, 2017 Natalie Crowley

Heart disease has been singled out as the leading cause of death among people with diabetes. It’s estimated that 68 percent of diabetics age 65 or older will die from some form of cardiovascular disease. Coronary atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is the most prevalent of these diseases, but there is another very common heart condition specific to diabetes that has been getting more attention in recent years. It’s called diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) and it’s independent of coronary artery [more…]

Using Epigenetics to Combat a Terrible Neglected Tropical Disease

August 8, 2017 Natalie Crowley

A small freshwater parasite burrows into the bare skin of an unsuspecting swimmer and enters their bloodstream. Once inside the blood, it grows into an adult worm, quietly feasting on its victim’s nutrients and breeding for some time, until one day its destruction becomes serious and life-threatening. While this could be the storyline of a bad horror film, it’s tragically the real tale of schistosomiasis – a deadly neglected tropical disease that kills more than 200,000 people each year in [more…]

Brown Rice Could Curb Cravings for High Fat Foods by Epigenetically Affecting the Brain

June 27, 2017 Natalie Crowley

High fat foods tend to be the most palatable and preferred choice of food in both humans and animals…and the most overeaten. We are more likely to eat an entire bag of chips or a pint of ice cream and still want more than overindulge on broccoli. Even though we need fat in our diets, most people eat far too much of it. The reason why is because fat makes food taste delicious. It enhances the flavor, aroma, and texture [more…]

Epigenetics to the Rescue on Climate Change

April 4, 2017 Natalie Crowley

The impact of climate change may be one of the greatest threats facing all life on Earth today. Around the world, rising temperatures and extreme weather patterns are already affecting the habitats of many plants and animals. Undoubtedly, their fate will depend on their ability to either migrate away from or adapt to the new environment, and eventually evolve as a species. But, can life on our planet adapt in time? Most researchers believe that the rate in which our [more…]

Demethylating Agent May Boost Chemotherapy Effectiveness for Specific Type of Childhood Leukemia

January 16, 2017 Natalie Crowley

Fifty years ago, a child diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common type of pediatric cancer, had little to no chance of survival. Today, those odds have increased dramatically thanks to tremendous advances in chemotherapy and other treatments. Cure rates for this type of leukemia can reach as high as 90 percent. Yet, there is one subgroup of pediatric ALL that is still very therapy resistant, T-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL). T-ALL is an uncommon, though aggressive, subclass of [more…]

Book Review: Super Genes

April 13, 2016 Natalie Crowley

Change your genes, change your life. Seems like a radical idea, especially since we’ve been taught to believe that our genes are set in stone when we are born. Not so, according to the authors of Super Genes, Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D. It seems that we are not at the mercy of our genes, rather we are the “user and controller” of them. And, through simple lifestyle changes, we may be able to modify our gene activity [more…]

The Epigenetics Behind the Flu

November 17, 2015 Natalie Crowley

When the flu hits, it typically hits hard and fast. At first, you might only notice a slight cough and some sniffles and then, before you know it, you’re unable to get out of bed. The fever, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, and overall exhaustion take over your body and you’re done for — at least for a few days, if you’re lucky. Influenza (aka “the flu”) is a dreadful virus that’s seriously contagious and seemingly unavoidable for some. In [more…]

A Review of the Epigenetics Course: Epigenetic Control of Gene Expression

October 6, 2015 Natalie Crowley

Perhaps it’s just the American in me, but why does everything seem more appealing when told in an Australian accent? Ok, that wasn’t entirely the reason why I stuck it out for nearly eight weeks to take an online course about epigenetics offered by the University of Melbourne. The truth is, it was interesting, I learned a lot, and despite the fact that it crept into my summer free time, I actually liked it. I’ve never taken any online course, [more…]

Could Epigenetics Help Feed the World?

July 14, 2015 Natalie Crowley

If you were a teenager in 1985, like I was, you probably remember spending an entire day in July plopped in front of the TV watching one of the greatest concerts of all time – Live Aid. The legendary concert broadcast-live around the world that featured an amazing line-up of rock stars was, and still is, the most successful charity event ever held. But, let us not forget its purpose – to raise money and awareness for the famine that [more…]

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