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…]

Epigenetic Study Reveals Novel Subgroups for Type 2 Diabetes

July 5, 2022 Natalie Crowley

Today over 400 million people around the globe are living with diabetes, the more significant majority of which have type 2. In all cases, the disease disrupts the body’s use of glucose, making it difficult for cells to take in needed sugar from the blood. Over time, high blood sugar levels can lead to problems with the kidneys, nerves, eyes, and feet, as well as comorbidities like heart disease and stroke. Diabetes is a chronic condition, meaning that people who [more…]

Alleviating Epigenetically-Regulated Chronic Pain

June 21, 2022 Natalie Crowley

Pain is a natural symptom of damage to the body, either done by disease or injury. Usually, it subsides upon healing. But when pain persists beyond healing, or occurs for no apparent reason for a prolonged period of time, it is more than just a symptom. It is a chronic condition in its own right that needs attention. However, chronic pain is difficult to treat, even diagnose properly, because it is poorly understood in many cases. Plus, conventional therapies are [more…]

Epigenetically Reversing Mental Health Disorders that Arise from Adolescent Binge Drinking

June 7, 2022 Natalie Crowley

Imagine being able to undo some of the bad mistakes we made in our youth, like drinking too much. It’s been well reported that excessive alcohol consumption in adolescents can lead to serious health problems later on in life. Anxiety and continued alcohol dependence are two issues that often result from underage alcohol exposure, and both are difficult to treat. Now scientists in the field of epigenetics are finding that it may be possible to reverse some of the damage [more…]

Epigenetics May Explain Vulnerability to Food Addiction

May 24, 2022 Natalie Crowley

Food is a necessity as much as it is a pleasure to pretty much everyone. But to the food addict, food is more like a drug, providing an overload of feel-good chemicals to the brain, increasing appetite and consumption tolerance. As a result, most food addicts suffer from health problems like obesity, eating disorders, and malnutrition.  Because food cannot be abstained from during recovery, people who struggle with this disorder find it challenging to overcome, especially when unhealthy fast food [more…]

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…]

Epigenetic Researchers Turn Back Time on Aging Skin Cells

April 26, 2022 Natalie Crowley

You’ve heard the old saying that age is just a number. But what if you could lower that number by about 30 years? Epigenetic researchers from the Babraham Institute in the UK say it’s possible. What’s more, they have proven it experimentally, using a new method based on Shinya Yamanaka’s Nobel Prize-winning technique to create stem cells. The study, recently published in eLife, demonstrates how older skin cells can be restored and rejuvenated by erasing some of the genetic marks that make them [more…]

Epigenetic Study Identifies Potential Drug Targets for a Rare Type of Bone Marrow Cancer

April 12, 2022 Natalie Crowley

There are many treatment options for cancer today, yet it continues to be a major health problem, killing hundreds of thousands of people in the US each year. While conventional therapies like chemo and radiation have successfully extended survival rates, they don’t necessarily work for all patients, especially those with late-stage or rare cancers. As a result, more advanced treatments and diagnostic methods are being sought after to stem the cancer death toll. One research area that shows great promise [more…]

Epigenetic Marks Indicate Early Type 1 Diabetes Risk

March 29, 2022 Natalie Crowley

We hear a lot about the rise in type 2 diabetes worldwide, which primarily affects people in their 40s and 50s. But the same is also true for the less common type 1 diabetes (T1D). Global rates for this autoimmune disease have been increasing in recent years, and the trend is very troubling. T1D usually occurs in younger people and has a greater potential for causing disabilities and early death. No one knows exactly why this disease has risen significantly [more…]

3D-Imaging for Epigenetic Changes in the Brain 

March 15, 2022 Natalie Crowley

For centuries, scientists and philosophers have been fascinated with learning about the brain. However, it hasn’t been until the last few decades that we’ve really been able to examine this complex organ in action. One advanced technology that has revolutionized our understanding of the human brain is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While this method has been extremely useful for measuring neural activity, it hasn’t been used to assess gene regulation – that is, until now. The University of Illinois (U [more…]

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