Epigenetics Involved in Improving COPD Treatment

April 16, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Breathing can be difficult for millions of people around the world who have COPD. While there are available treatments that can reduce the symptoms of this condition, one major barrier to their effectiveness is corticosteroid resistance. The mechanisms that contribute to this type of resistance are unknown, but recent evidence suggests that certain epigenetic factors may play a role. COPD (or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a term used to describe progressive lung diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Long-term [more…]

Seed Dormancy Stems from the Mother Plant Via Epigenetics

April 2, 2019 Natalie Crowley

The seed stage is an integral part of a plant’s life cycle and necessary for species’ survival. As the dispersal unit of the organism, the seed must be able to sustain extended periods of unfavorable conditions if necessary. It does this by remaining dormant, thereby delaying germination until the environment is ideal. Biologists at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland previously revealed that seed dormancy is inherited from the mother plant. Now, this same team has uncovered how this maternal [more…]

Epigenetics Explains Increased Drug Resistance in Malaria Parasite

March 18, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Malaria is a serious, sometimes fatal disease that is caused by a single-cell parasite and transferred to humans by the bite of a mosquito. Each year, millions of cases of the illness are reported, predominantly in young children and pregnant women from the sub-Saharan African region. Although deadly, malaria is preventable and treatable if tackled early enough. However, one hindering issue persists – drug resistance. In recent years, it has become a significant hurdle in the global effort to eradicate [more…]

Mouse Study Verifies Gene’s Role in Autism Via Epigenetics

March 12, 2019 Natalie Crowley

More families are living with autism today than ever before. It’s a common diagnosis with a prevalence of 1 in 59 children in the US. Despite all the efforts to understand this condition, there is still no known cause. The consensus among researchers is that autism is predominantly genetic with a few environmental factors involved. However, determining a heritable link here is complex since any number of genotypic variations could underlie autism. To better pinpoint genes that may contribute to [more…]

Epigenetic Test Beats Pap & HPV for Detecting Cervical Cancer

February 5, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Cervical cancer used to be the number one cause of death in women about a hundred years ago. But thanks to advancements in medical science, this disease is almost preventable today. However, cervical cancer (CC) still claims the lives of over 4,000 women each year in the US. While Pap and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing have significantly contributed to the lower mortality rates, there are still certain types of CC that are not easily detected. Now, a new technique has [more…]

Scientists Develop a New RNA Sequencing Approach to Advance Our Understanding of the Human Microbiome

January 8, 2019 Natalie Crowley

The human body is made up of about 100 trillion cells, but not all these cells are ‘real’ human cells. About one-tenth, in fact, are tiny organisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live within us and on us. These organisms are collectively known as microbes and they play an essential role in human health and disease. Yet, exactly how they function and are affected by environmental changes is not entirely understood, and even less is known about how the [more…]

Selective Survival In The Womb Based On Random Epigenetic Variation May Explain Adult Health Problems

December 18, 2018 Natalie Crowley

It’s been said before that health begins in the womb. That’s because the conditions we encounter in utero impact not only our well-being in infancy but throughout our entire lives. But what happens when the nutritional environment in the womb is less than favorable? Most epigenetic studies have suggested that embryos respond to adverse environmental conditions by adjusting their gene expression. However, new research proposes something entirely different may occur. Instead of adapting to the environment, random variations in gene [more…]

Curcumin May Alleviate Liver Damage Caused by Drug-induced Epigenetic Changes

November 20, 2018 Natalie Crowley

For centuries, people all around the globe have known about the health benefits of herbs and spices. One spice, in particular, stands out not only for its bright yellow color but also for its potent healing powers. This wonder spice is Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric, and it belongs to the ginger family. Traditionally used in Indian cooking as a main ingredient in curry powder, this spice is also used to make medicine. Numerous studies have promoted turmeric as [more…]

Natural Compound in Garlic Uses Epigenetics to Fight Ovarian Cancer

November 13, 2018 Natalie Crowley

Garlic has been used in food and as medicine since ancient times. Considered a superfood for its role as a health promoter, this small, pungent vegetable is widely used today to prevent and treat numerous conditions from the common cold to heart disease, cancer, and more. Now new research is confirming garlic’s medicinal ability, finding that it contains a powerful substance that acts epigenetically to halt the growth of ovarian cancer. There are numerous nutrients in garlic that are beneficial [more…]

Fluoride’s Epigenetic Effect on Bone Development

November 6, 2018 Natalie Crowley

When it comes to dental health, fluoride is considered a champion against tooth decay. It’s in just about every brand of toothpaste, even added to our drinking water here in the US. But fluoride is a chemical and too much of it can be toxic. Excessive exposure to fluoride has been shown to cause adverse health effects, many of which cannot be corrected.  While several studies have examined chronic fluoride exposure and its link to certain conditions, little is known [more…]

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