A Look Into the Epigenetics of a Coronavirus Infection

March 10, 2020 Natalie Crowley

Emerging viral infections pose a major threat to global public health. In the last two decades, the world has dealt with several fatal outbreaks from the Swine Flu to Ebola to Zika infections and more. The latest to appear is COVID-19, which emerged in December in Wuhan, China and spread quickly around the globe. Although this disease is new, the virus itself is not entirely unknown. It’s actually a type of coronavirus (CoV) –one that is similar to SARS-CoV and [more…]

Epigenetics May Help Rebuild The Coral Reefs

February 18, 2020 Natalie Crowley

Coral reefs are some of the most extraordinary and diverse ecosystems on the planet. Taking up only a fraction of the ocean’s surface, they support about a quarter of all marine life. But their existence is continually being threatened by a variety of factors including pollution, global warming, and destructive fishing techniques. For years, scientists have investigated various ways to save the corals, from breeding them in a lab to making them more resistant to pollution. Now, a new study [more…]

Epigenetic Study Finds Overactive Hormone May Drive Hypersexual Disorder

October 15, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Sex is a natural and normal part of life. When practiced safely with a consenting partner, it’s not only pleasurable but has certain health benefits. However, some people can be obsessed with sex, to the point that it causes them more harm than does any good. These individuals are usually diagnosed with having hypersexual disorder (HSD) – a condition where excessive sexual thoughts and actions interfere with the ability to function day-to-day. Often accompanied by other medical conditions, the causes [more…]

Your Zodiac Sign and Epigenetics

September 3, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Do you know your zodiac sign and what it means? If you do, perhaps you have the qualities that are typically predicted for people under that sign. According to astrologers, your zodiac sign, which refers to the position of the stars on the date you were born, can strongly influence your personality and life. But how can something so far away, like the stars or any other celestial object, control one’s behavior or predict occurrences? Well, there’s no scientific evidence [more…]

How Shutting Down DNA Methylation Affects the “Dark Matter” in Our Genome

July 30, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Along the vast stretches of molecules that make up our DNA, only a small portion (about 3%) consists of genes, the essential building blocks or our bodies. The rest has been considered dark matter, as it appears to serve little to no biological purpose. Out of this area, the most substantial bulk is comprised of mobile genetic elements that scientists call transposons or transposable elements (TEs). Throughout evolution, these TEs have colonized our genome by basically copying and pasting themselves [more…]

Vinegar May Epigenetically Prevent Kidney Stone Development

July 16, 2019 Natalie Crowley

If you have ever suffered the excruciating pain of kidney stones, you definitely don’t want that experience again. Unfortunately, reoccurrence is high for this condition. Therefore, treatment options that can prevent stones from returning are in great demand. One simple home remedy that many people swear by is vinegar. While most findings supporting its use are anecdotal, those who regularly consume vinegar tend to have a reduced risk for developing kidney stones. Exactly how it works within the body, however, [more…]

Popular Herbicide May Epigenetically Promote Health Problems In Descendants

July 2, 2019 Natalie Crowley

For decades, farmers and homeowners alike have been eradicating unwanted weeds and vegetation with Roundup. While it’s been an effective herbicide and widely used in the US, its main ingredient has been causing much debate in recent years with claims linking its use to cancer and other conditions. Now, scientists are finding that exposure to this weed killer could also be responsible for damaging the health of future generations via inherited epigenetic defects. Glyphosate, or N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine was first discovered [more…]

Scientists Design a Genomic Atlas for Studying Epigenetic Variation in Disease

June 25, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Thirty years ago, many scientists believed that mapping the human genome would be the key to ending all diseases. We now know that genetics is more complicated than we first anticipated. This understanding has steered many researchers to look beyond the genome to study what lies “on top” of the DNA, better known as epigenetics. However, this field is very new and mostly uncharted, and despite overwhelming interest, there is still much to learn. The primary challenge at present is [more…]

Stem Cells Obtained From Menstrual Blood May Epigenetically Inhibit Liver Cancer

June 18, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Menstruation is a normal and natural part of human life. In most cases, it signifies a healthy reproductive system and a women’s ability to bear children.  For far too long, however, it has been viewed in a negative light and not always appreciated for its real purpose, which is preparing the female body for pregnancy. Hopefully, science will finally change the overall perspective on menstruation as newer reports are confirming that menstrual blood and tissue are valuable resources of mesenchymal [more…]

Epigenetic Age Linked to Allergic Conditions in Children

May 14, 2019 Natalie Crowley

The number of children diagnosed with asthma and allergies has risen tremendously in the last few decades, partly because of higher awareness. But the jury is still out on determining what exactly is driving this increase. Rapid changes in the environment and lifestyles factors may be to blame, yet much remains to be learned about the etiology of both these ailments. To further our understanding, scientists have been investigating the role of epigenetics to determine which biological mechanisms play a role [more…]

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