Circadian Rhythms, Epigenetics and Disease

February 12, 2019 Janeth Santiago Rios

Epigenetics has many connections to our cellular processes. It regulates the expression of our genes, so it wouldn’t surprise us that epigenetics is involved in the regulation of our circadian rhythms as well. But what exactly are these circadian rhythms and how can they be involved in certain processes of health and disease? What are circadian rhythms? Circadian rhythms are biological processes which govern not only our sleep-wake cycle, but also a wide variety of physiological functions, such as hormone release, feeding habits [more…]

Epigenetic Test Beats Pap & HPV for Detecting Cervical Cancer

February 5, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Cervical cancer used to be the number one cause of death in women about a hundred years ago. But thanks to advancements in medical science, this disease is almost preventable today. However, cervical cancer (CC) still claims the lives of over 4,000 women each year in the US. While Pap and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing have significantly contributed to the lower mortality rates, there are still certain types of CC that are not easily detected. Now, a new technique has [more…]

Heat Stress Upsets the Epigenome of Dairy Cattle Offspring

January 29, 2019 Amanda Conroy

If you are familiar with cattle, you may be aware of the dangers heat poses to these sensitive creatures. They have a lower tolerance for heat than humans do, and if their bodies become too warm, they can experience changes that are neither beneficial for farmers and consumers, nor for the animals themselves. Temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind, and amount of direct sunlight are all main factors in determining an animal’s body temperature. If these variables are not monitored properly, cattle [more…]

Marijuana Use May Epigenetically Impact Sperm Health

January 22, 2019 Tim Barry

Marijuana has been the topic of much recent debate across the United States, and its legalization has undoubtedly gained some ground. Almost all states in the US have legalized marijuana in some capacity, whether it be for medicinal or recreational purposes which could have a positive effect on both medicine and the economy. Cannabis has provided some relief for patients suffering from various sicknesses like chronic pain, depression, PTSD, anxiety, and even HIV/AIDs and cancers. As the use of marijuana [more…]

Scientists Develop a New RNA Sequencing Approach to Advance Our Understanding of the Human Microbiome

January 8, 2019 Natalie Crowley

The human body is made up of about 100 trillion cells, but not all these cells are ‘real’ human cells. About one-tenth, in fact, are tiny organisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live within us and on us. These organisms are collectively known as microbes and they play an essential role in human health and disease. Yet, exactly how they function and are affected by environmental changes is not entirely understood, and even less is known about how the [more…]

A Fatty Diet May Affect Behavior Across Generations Through Epigenetic Mechanisms

December 26, 2018 James Cain

  Having a high-fat diet (HFD) is not only linked to obesity but also to an increased risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain mental health disorders. With obesity levels on the rise, it’s critical that we know more about how a HFD affects the body and find ways for early prevention. In recent years, there has been a growing area of interest into the behavioral consequences of a HFD and if these are passed onto subsequent [more…]

Selective Survival In The Womb Based On Random Epigenetic Variation May Explain Adult Health Problems

December 18, 2018 Natalie Crowley

It’s been said before that health begins in the womb. That’s because the conditions we encounter in utero impact not only our well-being in infancy but throughout our entire lives. But what happens when the nutritional environment in the womb is less than favorable? Most epigenetic studies have suggested that embryos respond to adverse environmental conditions by adjusting their gene expression. However, new research proposes something entirely different may occur. Instead of adapting to the environment, random variations in gene [more…]

DNA Methylation Study Provides Insight for Treating Brain Cancer

December 11, 2018 Tim Barry

Receiving the diagnosis of a brain cancer is undoubtedly disastrous news that nobody wants to hear for themselves or their loved ones. Although significant advances have been made to understand and treat many cancers, the mortality rate remains high for cancers of the brain.  New research, however, may be shedding light on one form of brain cancer by investigating the epigenetic character of the disease. Glioblastoma is the most common and deadliest type of brain cancer in adults. It’s considered [more…]

Depression Could Severely Increase Epigenetic Aging

November 27, 2018 Tim Barry

Depression can certainly take its toll on a variety of physical and mental processes, so it’s no surprise that major depression often coincides with a shortened lifespan. Now scientists are finding that there may be more to this link than just purely an unfortunate coincidence. According to a new study, major depression disorder (MDD) may actually speed up the aging process on a molecular level and the results illuminate a significant epigenetic mechanism. MDD is a very common mental disorder [more…]

Curcumin May Alleviate Liver Damage Caused by Drug-induced Epigenetic Changes

November 20, 2018 Natalie Crowley

For centuries, people all around the globe have known about the health benefits of herbs and spices. One spice, in particular, stands out not only for its bright yellow color but also for its potent healing powers. This wonder spice is Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric, and it belongs to the ginger family. Traditionally used in Indian cooking as a main ingredient in curry powder, this spice is also used to make medicine. Numerous studies have promoted turmeric as [more…]

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