Ovarian Cancer Treatment May Be Found In Epigenetic Therapy

January 15, 2018 Tim Barry

Ovarian cancer is not the most common of cancers, but it is the leading cause of gynecological cancer related death for women in the U.S. It is often hard to detect; many women don’t display symptoms until it’s in an advanced stage, and then it may be too late for treatment as it can easily spread to the uterus, cervix, or fallopian tubes. Treatments typically include chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy, or clinical trials for up-and-coming medicines; however, the new field [more…]

Epigenetic Marks on Histones Keep Egg Cells Fresh

January 9, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Egg cells, or oocytes, are made inside a female’s body before she is even born and they must be kept in a state of equilibrium or stasis during her childhood. Eventually, they can transition to mature eggs when needed as an adult. If the eggs do not go into stasis, however, they will never be able to eventually form into a baby. New research in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology explores the influence of epigenetics on egg cell stasis and [more…]

Bipolar Disorder Linked to Accelerated Epigenetic Aging

January 2, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Bipolar disorder affects nearly 6 million Americans and is characterized by drastic shifts in mood, activity levels, and energy, which influences an individual’s ability to carry out daily tasks. It’s a dangerously misunderstood disease and can be easily misdiagnosed. The extreme adjustments in mood – known as mania and depression – are more severe than the typical ups and downs that many people experience. Researchers are finding that something called premature epigenetic aging might play a role in this disease [more…]

Epigenetic Marks on a Stress-Related Gene Linked to Suicide Risk

December 26, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Many people consider suicide to be taboo, and it’s a subject that is often avoided. However, the more we understand the reasoning behind why some people are pressed to commit suicide, the better equipped we may be to offer support and guidance for treatment. Interestingly, certain lifestyles and various environmental factors might be able to influence a specific gene linked to stress, which could increase suicide risk in adults and even adolescents. In a new study, researchers from Uppsala University, [more…]

Panic Disorder Might Have an Epigenetic Explanation

December 18, 2017 Estephany Ferrufino

Fight-or-flight is a physiological response that occurs when an individual has been exposed to a perceived threat. This well-known stress response pathway is critical for the survival of many organisms. However, people with different types of anxiety-driven disorders can experience intense stress even with little to no stimuli. For individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders, the feeling of worry and anxiety do not go away. The recurring waves of fear that set off a fight-or-flight response may interfere with daily [more…]

Cuddling Can Leave Positive Epigenetic Traces on Your Baby’s DNA

December 12, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

You might be familiar with the popular epigenetic study that suggests when mother rats lick their pups, they leave epigenetic marks on their babies’ DNA. This, in turn, helps them grow up to be calm adults. On the other hand, pups who receive very little licking, grooming, or nursing from their moms tend to grow up more anxious. It wasn’t their genes that dictated their stressed-out behavior, but their epigenome, which was shaped by the nurturing behavior of their mother [more…]

Skipping Sleep Lowers the Body’s Protective Antioxidant Levels and Induces Epigenetic Changes

December 5, 2017 Natalie Crowley

Sleep is something that nearly all species need to survive. On a daily basis, humans need about 8 hours, dogs and cats recharge with around 12 hours, and the koala takes nearly the entire day — napping a whopping 22 hours. But unlike dogs, koalas, or most other animals, we humans don’t always get enough of our required Zzz’s. Our lives are either too busy or filled with too many distractions that keep us up at night. Sometimes sleep is [more…]

Could the Mediterranean Diet During Pregnancy Epigenetically Reduce a Child’s Disease Risk?

November 28, 2017 Estephany Ferrufino

The Mediterranean diet has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Taking this a step further, research is now pointing to the epigenetic benefits abiding by a Mediterranean diet could have while pregnant. The main components of this healthy eating pattern might epigenetically protect the fetus from developing diseases later in life by adjusting what are called histone modifications. Inspired by the ancient communities like Greece, Spain, and Italy, this diet emphasizes [more…]

Epigenetics May Provide Relief for Fragile X Syndrome and Intellectual Disorders

November 21, 2017 Tim Barry

Intellectual disabilities affect an individual’s ability to communicate, process information and can severely impact basic life skills of people from all age groups.  Many are a result of a genetic mutation and have often had little insight on any cures or treatments. Recent research published in Cell suggests that epigenetics may play a role in alleviating behavioral symptoms and improving neuronal connections. Fragile X Syndrome is the leading cause for intellectual disability on the genetic level and, until recently, seemed [more…]

The Epigenetic Health Benefits of Blueberries

November 7, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Although blueberries are tiny, they’re more powerful than you might think. Touted for their high nutrient content – including fiber, vitamin C and K, and manganese – these little blue fruits may be able to adjust chemical marks on DNA and influence our health. Blueberries are incredibly high in antioxidants and it’s thought that this “superfood” can epigenetically reduce DNA damage, thereby protecting humans against aging and cancer. Examples of epigenetics in food include the ability of green tea to [more…]

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