New Study Shows Epigenetic Process Controls Cancer-Killing Cells

October 1, 2013 WhatIsEpigenetics

A new study from the scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) describes for the first time how natural killer (NK) cells, which are able to kill and contain viruses and cancerous tumors in the human body, can be manipulated by epigenetics. Through a series of experiments in mice, these scientists found that MYSM1, an enzyme in the body’s immune system that turns genes on and off by modifying proteins called histones embedded in DNA, is required for natural [more…]

Targeting Noncoding RNAs in Disease: Challenges and Opportunities

September 13, 2013 WhatIsEpigenetics

Noncoding RNAs make up the majority of transcribed RNA and have a wide range of functions in cellular and developmental processes. Consequently, they are also implicated in the development and pathophysiology of many diseases and represent potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Scientists found that effective in vivo inhibition (or silencing) of microRNA, one class of noncoding RNA, has enabled to make groundbreaking discoveries about the contribution of these short regulating RNAs to some of the major human diseases, such as [more…]

Research in Epigenetics Experiencing Exponential Growth

August 26, 2013 WhatIsEpigenetics

Publication growth in epigenetic-related research attests to the exponential expansion of this field since 2000 according to GENRports (GENReports: Market & Tech Analysis, Produced by Enal Razvi). The yearly published articles related to epigenetics are sharply increased from about 1000 in 2000 to more than 11,000 in 2012 (See Figure: “Growth of Epigenetics-Focused Publications in PubMed”). Around 50% of the research is focused on DNA methylation and 25% is for non-coding RNA studies, while another 25% is related to histone [more…]

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