Study Reveals How Epigenetic Changes Allow Pioneer TFs to Access DNA

July 11, 2023 Natalie Crowley

Think of DNA as a thread wound around a spool. It’s packed and wrapped around structures called nucleosomes, resembling beads along the thread. This compact packaging provides organization and protection for the DNA. However, in areas where the DNA is densely packed, it can pose a challenge for proteins attempting to reach it. Interestingly, there are certain proteins that possess the remarkable ability to access tightly wound DNA. These proteins, known as pioneer transcription factors, have evolved special mechanisms that [more…]

DNA Methylation as a Tool for Predicting Type 2 Diabetes Risk

June 13, 2023 Natalie Crowley

Researchers in the UK have discovered a new way to assess the risk of developing type 2 diabetes years before any symptoms appear. By analyzing changes found in the DNA of a person’s blood, scientists can now provide a more accurate prediction of the likelihood of developing this condition. This breakthrough has the potential to improve early detection and enable the implementation of preventive measures, ultimately reducing the economic and health burdens associated with type 2 diabetes. So, how does [more…]

Exposure to Chemicals in Plastics During Development Could Increase the Risk of Autism and Dementia

May 30, 2023 Pamela A. Harvey

Associations between prenatal exposure to chemicals like endocrine disruptors found in plastics and the development of neurological diseases later in life have been well described (1). Although mechanisms have been proposed for how endocrine disruptors affect human health (2), those mediating the development of neurological conditions like autism and dementia have been difficult to elucidate because of the multifactorial nature of these diseases. Researchers, therefore, considered the issue through a new lens: inherited  DNA methylation patterns. Bisphenols and phthalates are [more…]

New Epigenetic Method Detects Differences in Animal Farming Practices

May 16, 2023 Natalie Crowley

In today’s world, there is an increased emphasis on eating healthy and being environmentally friendly. One of the key factors in achieving these goals is the source of the food we eat. Consumers are now more conscious of where their food comes from and want to be sure that it is grown in an environment free of harsh chemicals that supports health. But how can we be sure that the food we’re eating comes from an organic or free-range farm? [more…]

Mom’s Behavior May Leave a Lasting Mark on Her Child’s Genes

May 2, 2023 Natalie Crowley

From the moment a child is born, a mother’s love and care are crucial for their physical and mental development, especially during the critical early stages of infancy. The environment and experiences children encounter during these formative years can have a lasting impact on their biology and health, even influencing future generations. Recently, a study out of Washington State University (WSU) has added to our understanding of the crucial role played by mothers. The study found that a mother’s behavior [more…]

Researchers Discovered the Start and Stop Controls of Gene Expression

April 18, 2023 Natalie Crowley

For years, scientists have been trying to understand how a particular histone modification called H3K4me3 affects gene expression. Although it is known to play a role in activating genes, its precise function has been difficult to determine due to the presence of other similar proteins within the cell that have overlapping functions. Recently, however, the elusive function of H3K4me3 has finally been revealed. According to an article published in the journal Nature, this histone modification acts as a signaling system [more…]

Green Phytochemical Epigenetically Enhances Cancer Treatment

April 4, 2023 Natalie Crowley

For many people undergoing cancer treatment, chemotherapy is their best hope for recovery or remission. However, chemo may not always be effective enough, and combining it with other drugs or therapies can sometimes lead to serious side effects. Therefore, finding a safer alternative approach is necessary, especially for cancers that require aggressive treatment or fail to respond to traditional chemo. In this pursuit, many researchers are exploring the potential of phytochemicals as alternative cancer treatments. One such promising compound is [more…]

Epigenetic Mechanism Found May Combat Cancer and Aging

March 21, 2023 Natalie Crowley

From the time we are born, the cells in our bodies are constantly replicating – creating and repairing the tissues of our organs, skin, bones, and more. This process, which splits one cell into two identical daughter cells, is called mitosis, and it allows the body to grow and heal over a lifetime. For the most part, our cells are very efficient at dividing. But as we age, impairment can occur, and the information once provided by the mother cell [more…]

AI Boosts Gene Editing for Epigenetic Therapies

March 7, 2023 Natalie Crowley

Gene editing and artificial intelligence (AI) are two powerful discoveries that have the potential to revolutionize disease treatment. While gene editing can correct genetic defects, AI can analyze data better for improved decision-making. Using these technologies together would no doubt improve patient outcomes and potentially cure diseases. Now a new AI program from the Grossman School of Medicine at NYU Langone-Health and the University of Toronto is taking an older gene editing technology and improving it to enhance and expedite [more…]

Epigenetic Memory Helps Plants Adapt to Climate Change

February 21, 2023 Natalie Crowley

We generally don’t think of plants as being intelligent. But they can learn, communicate, remember, and even make decisions in a stimulus-dependent manner. This ability allows them to modify their behavior to benefit their overall fitness, which is especially helpful when facing adverse environmental challenges like drought or extreme temperature changes. Although plants are just as adept as animals in responding to their surroundings, they lack a cognitive ability, which functions through neural structures and mechanisms. Instead, plant “intelligence” is [more…]

1 2 3 4 5 37

WIE-logo-icon

If you like reading our articles…

Join our e-newsletter! Stay up-to-date with our weekly posts on epigenetics and health, nutrition, exercise, and more.