Articles that explore the ways in which the environment influences gene expression and epigenetic marks, including information on pollution, toxins, and global warming.

Air Pollution Could Alter Tags on DNA and Increase Risk for Neurodegenerative Disease

February 21, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Not only is air pollution a major environmental concern, but it poses major health issues. New research suggests that inhaling extremely small particles known as fine particulate matter could add epigenetic marks to DNA. This may potentially lead to stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cognitive impairments and neurodevelopmental disorders. We’re certainly learning more about how our exposure to environmental toxins, especially pollution, affects the chemical tags that attach to our DNA and our health. Previous studies have linked traffic-related air [more…]

Dogs Exposed to BPA Give Us Epigenetic Clues About Our Own Wellbeing

December 20, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Exposure to a widespread environmental chemical could cause changes to chemical tags on DNA, which can impact the expression of genes and potentially increase the risk for disease. Researchers studied one of our closest companions – dogs – and the epigenetic effect of bisphenol-A (BPA) found in canned dog food. Since these animals share our environment more closely than any other species, they offer us valuable insight into the exposure of this toxic chemical and its potential epigenetic influence. Extensive [more…]

Fetal Development Epigenetically Influenced by Exposure to a Widespread Chemical in Plastic

August 9, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Evidence on the negative impact of the environmentally ubiquitous chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA), continues to mount. Previous research has shown that this endocrine disruptor causes adverse health effects during development and impacts the reproductive system, mimicking estrogen and binding to nuclear estrogen receptors as well as androgen receptors. BPA has been implicated in diseases such as obesity, infertility, endometrial cancer, osteoporosis, endometriosis, diabetes, prostate cancer, neurodegenerative disease and breast cancer. In a new mouse study published in The FASEB Journal, researchers [more…]

Epigenetic Differences Found between Office Workers and Nickel Smelting Workers

July 12, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

It’s possible that someone’s occupation could have an influence on their epigenetic signature and potentially their well-being. Some people may prefer to work in a steady office environment, some take up graveyard shifts, and others might enjoy working outdoors. All of these occupational settings may have consequences for an individual’s mental and physical health and could result in an alteration of chemical marks that attach to their DNA and impact gene expression. In hopes of finding relevant biomarkers linked to [more…]

Air Pollution Found to Alter Important Epigenetic Mark

June 14, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Air pollution is not only a significant threat to our environment, but also to our health. Ranging from vehicles to industrial facilities, common sources of air pollution are all around us. These pollutants are linked to serious health issues, such as respiratory disease, impaired lung function, asthma, cancer, chronic bronchitis, and increased morbidity. According to the WHO, outdoor air pollution was estimated to cause 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide in 2012. It’s most abundant in urban areas in Southeast Asia [more…]

Could Common Chemicals Tip the Epigenetic Balance and Program Someone for Obesity?

May 24, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

We’ve all heard of the risks of the BPA, or Bisphenol A, a chemical used to make durable plastics. BPA can be found in baby bottles, toys, water bottles, and the lining of food cans, but it has also leached into the water and air, travelling around the world. Research has shown this endocrine disruptor can cause adverse health effects during development and impact the reproductive system by mimicking estrogen, binding to nuclear estrogen receptors and even androgen receptors. It [more…]

Birth Season Could Epigenetically Determine Your Allergy Risk

April 5, 2016 Bailey Kirkpatrick

It has long been acknowledged that the season during which you were born can influence you throughout your life in many ways – your height, lifespan, and maybe even your temperament. In fact, research has found a strong connection between the season of someone’s birth and their personality. A study in European College of Neuropsychopharmacology found that people born in the summer are more likely to experience mood swings, those born in autumn are less likely to be depressive, and [more…]

Moms Exposed to Lead May Impact DNA Methylation of Her Children and Grandchildren

November 24, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Evidence supporting multigenerational epigenetic inheritance continues to mount as a group of researchers discover that mothers who have a significant amount of lead present in their blood can epigenetically impact not only their unborn children, but their grandchildren as well. The study was published in Scientific Reports. It is well known that children in the womb can be impacted by small amounts of exposure to lead. If a woman is pregnant and exposed to lead, it can harm the baby [more…]

DNA Methylation and ‘Bad Karma’ To Blame for Oil Palm Trees’ Useless Fruit

September 22, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

“Bad karma” and epigenetics are to blame for the spoiling of tens of thousands of young oil palms grown at large plantations in Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia, according to a group of researchers at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Not only have millions of dollars been wasted on these plants, also known as African oil palm or Elaeis guineensis, but the tropical environment has suffered as a result of some faulty epigenetic machinery. Researchers utilized bisulfite conversion and microarrays to [more…]

Epigenetic Changes Result from Breathing in Diesel Exhaust

January 20, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

New research exposes the epigenetic changes and harmful consequences that can occur as a result of exposure to diesel exhaust fumes. Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health have found that breathing in diesel exhaust fumes can lead to changes in DNA methylation levels, switching on and off certain genes. Diesel exhaust is given off when an engine burns diesel fuel and, according to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, “is a complex mixture of [more…]

1 2 3

WIE-logo-icon

If you like reading our articles…

Join our e-newsletter! Stay up-to-date with our weekly posts on epigenetics and health, nutrition, exercise, and more.