How Shutting Down DNA Methylation Affects the “Dark Matter” in Our Genome

July 30, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Along the vast stretches of molecules that make up our DNA, only a small portion (about 3%) consists of genes, the essential building blocks or our bodies. The rest has been considered dark matter, as it appears to serve little to no biological purpose. Out of this area, the most substantial bulk is comprised of mobile genetic elements that scientists call transposons or transposable elements (TEs). Throughout evolution, these TEs have colonized our genome by basically copying and pasting themselves [more…]

Daytime Sleepiness May Be Result of Epigenetic Change

July 23, 2019 Andrea P

Sleep is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For most of us, it’s our favorite activity, yet we somehow never get enough of it. Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, memory problems, and increased fatigue throughout the day. It turns out that feeling sleepy during the day may be a separate issue, and could be attributed to a change in a person’s epigenetics. Daytime fatigue creeping up so persistently that people can’t stay awake [more…]

Vinegar May Epigenetically Prevent Kidney Stone Development

July 16, 2019 Natalie Crowley

If you have ever suffered the excruciating pain of kidney stones, you definitely don’t want that experience again. Unfortunately, reoccurrence is high for this condition. Therefore, treatment options that can prevent stones from returning are in great demand. One simple home remedy that many people swear by is vinegar. While most findings supporting its use are anecdotal, those who regularly consume vinegar tend to have a reduced risk for developing kidney stones. Exactly how it works within the body, however, [more…]

Poor Wealth May Epigenetically Mean Poor Health

July 9, 2019 Tim Barry

Poverty has become an immense problem in not just the United States, but all over the world. Because people can’t afford proper medical care or means to follow a nutritious diet, they often experience poor health. Being unwell can then result in not being able to earn a sufficient income, creating a vicious cycle that can lead to a slew of financial and health-related issues. Our health is the most important thing to us. We only get one body, and [more…]

Popular Herbicide May Epigenetically Promote Health Problems In Descendants

July 2, 2019 Natalie Crowley

For decades, farmers and homeowners alike have been eradicating unwanted weeds and vegetation with Roundup. While it’s been an effective herbicide and widely used in the US, its main ingredient has been causing much debate in recent years with claims linking its use to cancer and other conditions. Now, scientists are finding that exposure to this weed killer could also be responsible for damaging the health of future generations via inherited epigenetic defects. Glyphosate, or N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine was first discovered [more…]

Scientists Design a Genomic Atlas for Studying Epigenetic Variation in Disease

June 25, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Thirty years ago, many scientists believed that mapping the human genome would be the key to ending all diseases. We now know that genetics is more complicated than we first anticipated. This understanding has steered many researchers to look beyond the genome to study what lies “on top” of the DNA, better known as epigenetics. However, this field is very new and mostly uncharted, and despite overwhelming interest, there is still much to learn. The primary challenge at present is [more…]

Stem Cells Obtained From Menstrual Blood May Epigenetically Inhibit Liver Cancer

June 18, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Menstruation is a normal and natural part of human life. In most cases, it signifies a healthy reproductive system and a women’s ability to bear children.  For far too long, however, it has been viewed in a negative light and not always appreciated for its real purpose, which is preparing the female body for pregnancy. Hopefully, science will finally change the overall perspective on menstruation as newer reports are confirming that menstrual blood and tissue are valuable resources of mesenchymal [more…]

Potential Epigenetic Avenues for ALS Relief

June 11, 2019 Tim Barry

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), perhaps more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a devastating neurological disease that ultimately leads to death.  This disease eats away at nerve cells, causing death to the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in the loss of muscle function and eventual paralysis and respiratory failure. ALS occurs in 2 main types: Sporadic and Familial. Sporadic ALS is the most common form, and it occurs in individuals in their late 50’s/early 60’s [more…]

Epigenome Map of Cell May Help Show Cancer Evolution & Drug Resistance

May 28, 2019 Tom Owens

Due to its widespread impact across various developed countries and cultures, cancer has been the focus of an ever-increasing number of studies worldwide. What makes these studies difficult, however, is the complicated nature of how cells become cancerous and/or malignant, and further is the overwhelming amount of diversity of the kinds of diseases that all fall under the umbrella of “cancer.” Scientists have made headway in studying the various genetic mutations that occur in cancer cells which make them behave [more…]

Epigenetic Age Linked to Allergic Conditions in Children

May 14, 2019 Natalie Crowley

The number of children diagnosed with asthma and allergies has risen tremendously in the last few decades, partly because of higher awareness. But the jury is still out on determining what exactly is driving this increase. Rapid changes in the environment and lifestyles factors may be to blame, yet much remains to be learned about the etiology of both these ailments. To further our understanding, scientists have been investigating the role of epigenetics to determine which biological mechanisms play a role [more…]

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