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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Latest Methylation Stories

2010-02-03 16:48:09

Increasing numbers of research studies clearly demonstrate that genetics alone cannot explain the diversity of living organisms, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). Also driving the development of such complexity is epigenetics, and the February 1 issue of GEN contains three articles that illustrate the growing recognition of the importance of this emerging field of study. "Scientists have shown that non-DNA-sequence-changing epigenetic phenomena such as histone...

2010-01-25 13:24:53

Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have determined how the TGFÃŽ²-Smad signaling pathway, which is over activated in late-stage cancers, is responsible for the "epigenetic memory" that maintains unique patterns of regulatory DNA hypermethylation causing silencing of critical genes that facilitate breast cancer progression. The findings, which appear online in Cancer Research, may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for late...

2010-01-14 12:37:08

Scientists have found what they believe is the "missing link" between heart failure, our genes and our environment. The study could open up completely new ways of managing and treating heart disease. The Cambridge team compared heart tissue from two groups "“ patients with end-stage heart failure and those with healthy hearts. The diseased tissue came from men who had undergone heart transplants at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, and the healthy hearts from age-matched victims of road...

2010-01-07 18:32:26

Epigenetic diagnosis and therapies, a new strategy for treating cancer In recent years it has been appreciated that there are additional chemical codes in addition to DNA sequence that control the behavior of normal and malignant cells. These additional codes are called "epi"genetic since they are contained outside of the DNA sequence. The investigators have concluded that much of the inter-patient difference in leukemia cell behavior is dependent on a patient's specific epigenetic...

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2010-01-07 08:28:06

The DNA contained within each of our cells is exactly the same, yet different types of cells "“ skin cells, heart cells, brain cells "“ perform very different functions. The ultimate fate of these cells is encoded not just in the DNA, but in a specific pattern of chemical modifications that overlay the DNA structure. These modifications, or epigenetic markers as they are called, are stably carried in our genomes -- except for at times when the cells change their fate, such as what...

2009-11-30 16:30:07

Researchers at Uppsala University and University Children's Hospital in Uppsala have devised powerful new tools for typing cells from children with acute lymphatic leukemia and for prediction of how children with leukemia will respond to chemotherapy. The study was recently published in electronic form by the prestigious hematological journal Blood. Acute leukemia is the most common form of childhood cancer. The new study shows that DNA methylation is a promising tool for predicting disease...

2009-11-23 17:07:42

Biomethylation of arsenic compounds appears to cause oxidative DNA damage and to increase their carcinogenicity, according to a new study published online November 23 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Although biomethylation was once believed to detoxify inorganic arsenic, it is now thought to enhance its toxicity and potentially its carcinogenicity. To assess the role of arsenic biomethylation in oxidative DNA damage in mice, Michael P. Waalkes, Ph.D., of the National Cancer...

2009-11-05 12:54:04

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, according to new research from Johns Hopkins and Harvard. Although genetically identical to the mature body cells from which they are derived, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are notably special in their ability to self-renew and differentiate into all kinds of cells. And now scientists...

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2009-11-03 09:22:27

The search for the holy grail of regenerative medicine"”the ability to "grow back" a perfect body part when one is lost to injury or disease"”has been under way for years, yet the steps involved in this seemingly magic process are still poorly understood. Now researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified an essential cellular pathway in zebrafish that paves the way for limb regeneration by unlocking gene expression patterns last seen during embryonic...

2009-10-22 11:21:10

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have uncovered a new genetic signature that correlates strongly with autism and which doesn't involve changes to the DNA sequence itself. Rather, the changes are in the way the genes are turned on and off. The finding may suggest new approaches to diagnosis and treatment of autism. The researchers found higher-than-usual numbers of gene-regulating molecules called methyl groups in a region of the genome that regulates oxytocin receptor expression...