Cataloging DNA Methylation & Gene Expression in Children

May 10, 2022 Natalie Crowley

Over the last few decades, the study of epigenetics has broadened our understanding of how the environment affects human development and disease. But, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this relationship. There have been several epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) that have helped scientists identify altered methylation patterns. However, the challenge lies in interpreting the results obtained from these studies. Now, a new study from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) hopes to assist researchers in their biological [more…]

Twin Study Reveals Epigenetic Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

December 21, 2021 Natalie Crowley

Epigenetic scientists have been keen on studying twins, particularly identical twins, as they are the perfect subjects to gain insight into the effects of the environment on the genome, especially when it comes to diseases. Because identical twins share the same DNA, any differences they have that are environmentally induced most likely show up in their epigenome. In a case where one identical twin has a disease, but the other does not, researchers can look at the twins’ environments for [more…]

A Stimulating Environment May Prevent The Brain From Epigenetically Aging

August 17, 2021 Natalie Crowley

One unfortunate side effect of aging is loss of brain function. For most people, it starts off here and there with some “forgetfulness” or a modest decline in other thinking skills. But brain loss can be progressive as we age and lead to more problematic conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. One possible key to maintaining brain functioning and staying sharp-minded could be as simple as living a varied and active life. While this notion isn’t new, current research is [more…]

Impaired Muscle Gene Expression Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

May 25, 2021 Natalie Crowley

Type-2 diabetes comes with a slew of health issues, but one complication that patients often endure is muscle weakness. Poor muscle function makes everyday tasks difficult and reduces activity, which in turn, makes the condition even worse. While exercise and diet can help maintain a patient’s mobility, more information is needed to address the underlying causes that lead to diabetic muscle damage. Scientists at Lund University in Sweden have looked into this matter and have found evidence that one particular [more…]

How a Ketogenic Diet May Change Your Gene Expression

March 2, 2021 Brandon Eudy

Over the past few years, ketogenic diets have become one of the most popular weight loss tools out there. Numerous studies show ketogenic diets are effective for weight loss in obese and overweight individuals and if you do a quick social media search for “Ketogenic diet” or “Keto” you will find countless anecdotes that support these scientific studies (1). The therapeutic benefit of ketogenic diets goes beyond weight loss. These diets have been used for nearly a century for the [more…]

Early Detection of DNA Methylation in Pancreas Could Help Identify Diabetes

September 15, 2020 Tim Barry

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is an extremely common chronic disease that affects the way the body uses insulin to regulate glucose levels. Specifically, the body either resists the effects of insulin, or it doesn’t produce enough of it to properly metabolize glucose. This could lead to nerve damage, heart and blood vessel complications, and other adverse health effects down the line. There are several factors that could lead to developing T2D, including obesity, lack of exercise, and poor diet. There [more…]

Exposure to Parabens While Pregnant Could Lead to Obese Offspring

August 18, 2020 Andrea P

The paraben family of substances—including methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben—are preservatives frequently found in cosmetics. Approximately 90% of products found in grocery stores contain some amounts of parabens, making it difficult for even the most careful consumer to completely steer clear of them. Those concerned are less nervous about individual items’ paraben levels, with the acceptable range being set by the Food and Drug Administration, and more worried about the potential effects of cumulative exposure. That is, until we start discussing pregnant [more…]

Low-Cal Diet Could Change Epigenetic Patterns in Obesity-Related Disease

July 21, 2020 Fanni Daniella Szakal

Obesity is a disease characterized by excessive body fat. It can be caused by environment, a person’s early-life nutrition, and it can even be a result of their parent’s diet. Obesity is so dangerous because associated with many diseases such as hypertension, type-2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. How does extra weight cause so many different problems? Many studies point to the fact that these diseases are, at least partially, mediated by epigenetics. In a study published in the European [more…]

Lazy Versus Active Lifestyle Preferences May Have Epigenetic Roots

January 7, 2020 Andrea P

Some people are content with lying on the couch and watching TV, while others need to be active and exercise every day. Could it be due to the difference in genetics, environment, nurture vs. nature, or something else? In a recent study published in Nature Communications, researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine wanted to examine the relationship between nurture and exercise; specifically the mechanisms responsible for making some people enjoy exercising more than others. The study highlights how epigenetics suggests that [more…]

Epigenetic Marks Found In Blood Test Could Help Save Diabetics

November 19, 2019 Andrea P

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic illness in which a person’s body cannot produce enough insulin to process blood sugar in a healthy way. It affects millions of people all over the world, and it can be a debilitating and even deadly disease if not properly managed. The inability to metabolize glucose can lead to long-term damage to blood vessels in organs and tissues— and may eventually lead to death. Quantifying this damage lets people take action, changing their habits and [more…]

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