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Latest Methylation Stories

2011-11-29 10:59:52

A University of Cambridge study, which set out to investigate DNA methylation in the human heart and the 'missing link' between our lifestyle and our health, has now mapped the link in detail across the entire human genome. The new data collected greatly benefits a field that is still in its scientific infancy and is a significant leap ahead of where the researchers were, even 18 months ago. Researcher Roger Foo explains: "By going wider and scanning the genome in greater detail this...

2011-11-22 11:15:24

Smoking during pregnancy profoundly changes both DNA and the expression of placental genes, a possible factor in physical changes that can last a lifetime, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in a report in the current edition of the journal Epigenetics. In a study that correlated changes in DNA methylation (a chemical change that affects the level of gene expression) to changes in gene expression across the genome of the placenta (the small ovoid organ that nourishes the...

2011-11-15 09:46:57

Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) have discovered key processes by which estrogen, the female sex hormone, activates genes in breast-cancer cells. Greater understanding of how this occurs is expected to eventually lead to new treatments for the disease. Michael R. Stallcup, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Keck School's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was the senior author, and Kwang Won Jeong, Ph.D., a postdoctoral...

2011-11-07 19:54:23

Analysis reveals overlap between genetic and epigenetic risk maps of autism Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School are the first to map epigenetic changes in neurons from the brains of individuals with autism, providing empirical evidence that epigenetic alterations–changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence–may play an important role in the disease. Analysis of these variations revealed hundreds of...

2011-11-07 19:43:13

Neurons in the prefrontal cortex of individuals with autism show changes at numerous sites across the genome, according to a study being published Online First by the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Autism spectrum disorders are a group of complex illnesses with different causes and origins. Neuronal dysfunction in the cerebral cortex and other regions of the brain could contribute to the cognitive and behavioral defects in autism, according to background...

2011-10-03 15:30:12

Finding has implications for treatment of wide range of diseases Johns Hopkins scientists investigating chemical modifications across the genomes of adult mice have discovered that DNA modifications in non-dividing brain cells, thought to be inherently stable, instead underwent large-scale dynamic changes as a result of stimulated brain activity. Their report, in the October issue of Nature Neuroscience, has major implications for treating psychiatric diseases, neurodegenerative disorders,...

2011-09-27 11:20:26

Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and the University of Southern California (USC) have uncovered intriguing new evidence helping to explain one of the ways in which a stem cell's fate can be determined. The new data show how the "marking" of DNA sequences by groups of methyl molecules — a process called methylation — can influence the type of cell a stem cell will become. The cellular maturation process, called differentiation, has long been thought to be...

Important Step Identified In Sperm Reprogramming
2011-09-23 03:39:10

   When sperm meets egg, the chemical instructions that tag sperm cells must be erased so that human life can start anew. One way these instructions are erased is through demethylation, the removal of specific chemical tags or methyl groups that dot the underlying DNA of cells. Though scientists have known about this phenomenon for a decade, exactly how such "reprogramming" occurs has proved elusive. Now, a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of...

Are Genes Our Destiny
2011-09-18 06:30:55

  Salk scientists discover 'hidden' code in DNA evolves more rapidly than genetic code A "hidden" code linked to the DNA of plants allows them to develop and pass down new biological traits far more rapidly than previously thought, according to the findings of a groundbreaking study by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The study, published Sept. 16 in the journal Science, provides the first evidence that an organism's "epigenetic" code - an extra layer of...


Word of the Day
lunula
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.
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