Latest Andrew Feinberg Stories
Regardless of their stage or type, cancers appear to share a telltale signature of widespread changes to the so-called epigenome, according to a team of researchers.
In one of the first genome-wide studies to hunt for both genes and their regulatory "tags" in patients suffering from a common disease, researchers have found a clear role for the tags in mediating genetic risk for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an immune disorder that afflicts an estimated 1.5 million American adults.
Using the latest gene sequencing tools to examine so-called epigenetic influences on the DNA makeup of colon cancer, a Johns Hopkins team says its results suggest cancer treatment might eventually be more tolerable and successful if therapies could focus on helping cancer cells get back to normal in addition to strategies for killing them.
Johns Hopkins scientists who specialize in unconventional hunts for genetic information outside nuclear DNA sequences have bagged a weighty quarry â€” 13 genes linked to human body mass.
Having charted the occurrence of a common chemical change that takes place while stem cells decide their fates and progress from precursor to progeny, a Johns Hopkins-led team of scientists has produced the first-ever epigenetic landscape map for tissue differentiation.
The same genes that are chemically altered during normal cell differentiation, as well as when normal cells become cancer cells, are also changed in stem cells that scientists derive from adult cells.
Epigenetic finding adds insight on how cells become brain, liver -- and malignant
Scientists who study how human chemistry can permanently turn off genes have typically focused on small islands of DNA believed to contain most of the chemical alterations involved in those switches.
- A person in a secondary role, specifically the second most important character (after the protagonist).