Articles that explore the connection between epigenetics and diseases and disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and more.

Time Off Reverses the Adverse Epigenetic Effects of Shift Work Disorder

April 27, 2021 Natalie Crowley

Shift work has been on the rise over the past decade as the demand for real-time goods and services increases globally. This growth has never been more evident than during the past year, as the pandemic forced many people to rely on essential workers for increased medical care, home delivery goods, and other high-demand consumer items.  However, working odd hours, especially through the night, poses fundamental challenges to the body. Not only does it disrupt circadian rhythm or the body’s [more…]

Epigenetic Biomarkers May Help Assess a Father’s Likelihood of Having an Autistic Child

March 16, 2021 Natalie Crowley

Autism rates have risen steadily in the past two decades, now affecting an estimated 1 in 54 children in the US. Efforts to better understand this condition and treat it effectively have risen, too. However, the underlying causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain unclear, and there is no known preventative measure or cure. But with research on the rise, scientists are coming closer to some answers. For one, ASD appears to be primarily related to the father’s transmission. While [more…]

Epigenetics May Be Involved in Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

February 16, 2021 Vered Smith

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) affects about 40 million adults in the U.S aged 20-69 (1). As the name suggests, it is a loss of hearing due to loud noise exposure. The louder the noise and the more often a person is exposed to it, the more it harms their hearing. Although it is the second most likely reason of hearing loss (the first being age), there is currently no cure, and we don’t fully understand how loud noises biologically cause [more…]

Epigenetics May Explain How Tuberculosis Develops Antibiotic Resistance

February 3, 2021 Natalie Crowley

Tuberculosis (TB) may be one of the oldest and deadliest diseases in history, but it is still very much a threat to people all over the world. Despite the availability of effective treatments and efforts to control it, TB ranks among the top 10 deadliest infectious diseases today. Treatment usually includes a multiple drug course that is given over 6 to 30 months. Not only is this grueling for a patient to endure, but it is also sometimes ineffective due [more…]

Reversing Vision Loss by Restoring Youthful Epigenetic Information

December 15, 2020 Natalie Crowley

Aging is a fact of life that cannot be avoided. From the moment we are born, every part of us starts to age, and slowly over time, the cells and tissues in our bodies progressively decline in their ability to repair and restore themselves. Our eyes get hit even harder by this occurrence, especially nowadays, as our daily routines include more screen time and less sleep. But what if the aging process could be stopped or, better yet, reversed? In [more…]

RNA Modification Detected in Swine Coronavirus

October 20, 2020 Natalie Crowley

Years before COVID-19 emerged out of China and entered the US, a lesser-known, highly contagious coronavirus (CoV) had already hit US soil, causing an outbreak of severe diarrhea in pigs. This swine CoV, referred to as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), first appeared in the US in 2013. It caused high mortality and morbidity rates in the pork industry, spreading rapidly throughout the US then further into Canada and Mexico. Although PEDV is not known to be transferable to humans, [more…]

Pandemic-Related Lifestyle Changes Could Affect the Epigenetic Regulation of Your Skin

September 22, 2020 Clarissa Li

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire world, and many countries have been devastated by the fallout. As this virus swept the world, it has not only changed many aspects of the global economy but also has transformed the way we live our everyday lives. The skin is one of the major body parts that have been impacted by the coronavirus. It’s apparent that frequent usage of personal protective equipment and excessive personal hygiene could trigger different skin conditions. These skin conditions [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…]

Histone Deacetylases Play a Role in Health & Renewal of Intestinal Barrier

September 1, 2020 Brandon Eudy

The barrier of the small intestine consists of a thin layer of cells which blocks pathogens from entering the body and has a major role in absorbing nutrients through microvilli. Maintenance of the intestinal barrier is important since these cells are constantly being sloughed off as food passes through and tiny amounts of damage can cause a leaky gut which is now understood to be associated with several chronic diseases (Fasano 2017 and Meddings 2006). The intestinal barrier is normally [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…]

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