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

Potential Epigenetic Avenues for ALS Relief

June 11, 2019 Tim Barry

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), perhaps more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a devastating neurological disease that ultimately leads to death.  This disease eats away at nerve cells, causing death to the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in the loss of muscle function and eventual paralysis and respiratory failure. ALS occurs in 2 main types: Sporadic and Familial. Sporadic ALS is the most common form, and it occurs in individuals in their late 50’s/early 60’s [more…]

Epigenome Map of Cell May Help Show Cancer Evolution & Drug Resistance

May 28, 2019 Tom Owens

Due to its widespread impact across various developed countries and cultures, cancer has been the focus of an ever-increasing number of studies worldwide. What makes these studies difficult, however, is the complicated nature of how cells become cancerous and/or malignant, and further is the overwhelming amount of diversity of the kinds of diseases that all fall under the umbrella of “cancer.” Scientists have made headway in studying the various genetic mutations that occur in cancer cells which make them behave [more…]

Will Losing Sleep Cause a Change in Your Genes?

May 21, 2019 Paul Serra

Sleep deprivation is quite common among students and working adults. Unfortunately, it causes changes in mood, attention, metabolism, immune system, hormones and much more. If sleep deprivation continues for years, it is very likely to cause mental illness or a body disease. These long-term sleep loss problems are usually linked to changes in gene activity and expression. Does your behavior influence your genes? It does, but it is not only your behavior – development (in children and adolescents), aging, diet, [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…]

Epigenetics May Help Explain Degrading Eyesight

May 7, 2019 Tim Barry

As we get older, our bodies begin to wear out and lose the ability to function as well as they once did. We start to ache for no reason, our hearing isn’t as adequate as it once was, and we become forgetful. Eyesight is usually one of the first casualties of aging. While most people will experience a deficiency in near focusing or presbyopia as they age, a common cause of gradual vision loss can be attributed to a disorder [more…]

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…]

Teen Drinking Could Epigenetically Hinder Brain Development

April 9, 2019 Tim Barry

Alcohol is likely the most used and abused substance in the world. It’s fine to have a few cocktails or beers per week, but only for those that are of the legal drinking age. Underage drinking is a consistent issue faced in the United States today. According to the CDC, kids ages 12-20 consume about 11% of all alcohol in the US, and this can be problematic as it is often done in a bingeing manner, rather than a causal [more…]

The Epigenetics of Kidney Transplantation

March 26, 2019 Adam Alonzi

As the world’s population ages, the demand for organs and ways to optimize the transplant process will only grow. While the exact interactions between different factors must be elucidated further, it is clear that allograft rejection is partially mediated by epigenetic mechanisms such as histone acetylation, DNA methylation, and microRNAs. This framework is useful when applied to the host and the graft as well as to the immunologic and nonimmunologic reasons for rejection. At this time individualized treatment is limited [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…]

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