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

Green Phytochemical Epigenetically Enhances Cancer Treatment

April 4, 2023 Natalie Crowley

For many people undergoing cancer treatment, chemotherapy is their best hope for recovery or remission. However, chemo may not always be effective enough, and combining it with other drugs or therapies can sometimes lead to serious side effects. Therefore, finding a safer alternative approach is necessary, especially for cancers that require aggressive treatment or fail to respond to traditional chemo. In this pursuit, many researchers are exploring the potential of phytochemicals as alternative cancer treatments. One such promising compound is [more…]

Epigenetic Mechanism Found May Combat Cancer and Aging

March 21, 2023 Natalie Crowley

From the time we are born, the cells in our bodies are constantly replicating – creating and repairing the tissues of our organs, skin, bones, and more. This process, which splits one cell into two identical daughter cells, is called mitosis, and it allows the body to grow and heal over a lifetime. For the most part, our cells are very efficient at dividing. But as we age, impairment can occur, and the information once provided by the mother cell [more…]

AI Boosts Gene Editing for Epigenetic Therapies

March 7, 2023 Natalie Crowley

Gene editing and artificial intelligence (AI) are two powerful discoveries that have the potential to revolutionize disease treatment. While gene editing can correct genetic defects, AI can analyze data better for improved decision-making. Using these technologies together would no doubt improve patient outcomes and potentially cure diseases. Now a new AI program from the Grossman School of Medicine at NYU Langone-Health and the University of Toronto is taking an older gene editing technology and improving it to enhance and expedite [more…]

Epigenetic Switch Helps the Body Fight Infections

January 31, 2023 Natalie Crowley

Keeping the body healthy – that’s the immune system’s job. And a healthy immune system allows our body to defend against invading disease-causing microorganisms like viruses, parasites, and bacteria. One remarkable component of the immune system response is hematopoiesis, the process by which immune cells are produced in the bone marrow. During an infection, the hematopoietic system kicks into high gear, replenishing the immune cells that are quickly being consumed. Like a “state of emergency” for the body, this system [more…]

Histone mimicry: How a SARS-CoV-2 protein functions as an H3 mimic to disrupt host cell epigenetic regulation

January 3, 2023 Mike Spelios

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first recognized at the beginning of 2020 and is responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The persistence of the virus has been partly accredited to its effective suppression of host cell responses.  As such, continued research in elucidating the dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle is essential to facilitate the design and development of novel diagnostics and suitable therapies.  Although reports suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can dysregulate the host’s gene expression and innate [more…]

Researchers Discover New Epigenetic Biomarkers for Prostate Cancer

October 25, 2022 Natalie Crowley

Cancer that occurs in the prostate is one of the most common cancers found in men globally. It is also clinically one of the most varied, with a subgroup of patients that advance more quickly to metastasis. Unfortunately, many diagnostic measures used today are not capable of predicting prostate cancer’s (PC) progression. Because epigenetic modifications are usually found early in tumor development, researchers have become more interested in studying these changes to find biomarkers for the disease. In a recent [more…]

Researchers Discover Disease Causes Abnormal Chromatin Packaging in Cells

August 30, 2022 Natalie Crowley

DNA exists within every cell in the body, but it’s packaged differently in each cell type or tissue. The bundled-up DNA is called chromatin, and its configuration helps regulate gene expression. It does this by allowing transcription to take place along specific DNA regions as needed during its lifecycle. Thus, cells must be able to control chromatin’s structure and remodeling capabilities to function correctly. However, disruptions in a cell’s microenvironment, as in disease, can upset the mechanisms that control chromatin. [more…]

Evaluating the Epigenetic Age of Sperm to Predict Pregnancy Outcomes

August 16, 2022 Natalie Crowley

Women’s health behaviors and age have historically been seen as the determining factors to a successful pregnancy. Of course, that view has been changing over the years as more research examines the male partner’s role in fertility. One factor considered significant to males’ reproductive capability is their age. Generally, that means taking into account their chronological age. But chronological age doesn’t accurately depict the “true age” of a person…or, in the case of fertility, the biological age of a male’s [more…]

Severe COVID-19 Reaction in Children Carries a Distinctive Epigenetic Signature

August 2, 2022 Natalie Crowley

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals in hot zones like New York City were bursting with incoming patients. Remarkably, very few of them were under 18. The reason is still a mystery, but somehow most children and teens appear to be protected from getting the worst of COVID-19.  This assumption was tested in April 2020, when doctors from the UK and US documented a presentation in children of a severe shock-like illness similar to Kawasaki disease or toxic [more…]

The Epigenetics of Antifungal Resistance

July 19, 2022 Adam Alonzi

Decades of antibiotic and antifungal use have dramatically impacted the global microbiome, with ramifications for agriculture and human health. Worries are mounting but no systematic plans of action are forthcoming. Though that is not to say there are no slivers of hope. While they are still largely confined to immunocompromised patients, fungal infections are a looming public health crisis. Invasive candidiasis is increasingly caused by multidrug-resistant non-albicans yeasts and nearly 60% of C. parapsilosi sampled in South Africa are now [more…]

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