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Latest Methylation Stories

2012-08-24 00:32:17

Chimpanzees rarely get cancer, or a variety of other diseases that commonly arise in humans, but their genomic DNA sequence is nearly identical to ours. So, what's their secret? Researchers reporting in the September issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, a Cell Press journal, have found that differences in certain DNA modifications, called methylation, might play a role. The researchers discovered hundreds of genes that display different patterns of methylation between the two...

New Purpose Found For Archived Guthrie Cards
2012-08-23 07:06:49

Over the last 50 years, the spotting of newborn's blood onto filter paper for disease screening, called Guthrie cards, has become so routine that since 2000, more than 90% of newborns in the United States have had Guthrie cards created. In a study published online in Genome Research, researchers have shown that epigenetic information stored on archived Guthrie cards provides a retrospective view of the epigenome at birth, a powerful new application for the card that could help understand...

Seeds Of Defense Being Planted
2012-08-08 07:16:52

Salk study finds stress triggers widespread epigenetic changes that aid in disease resistance It was long thought that methylation, a crucial part of normal organism development, was a static modification of DNA that could not be altered by environmental conditions. New findings by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, however, suggest that the DNA of organisms exposed to stress undergo changes in DNA methylation patterns that alter how genes are regulated. The...

2012-07-16 10:21:04

Your genes determine much about you, but environment can have a strong influence on your genes even before birth, with consequences that can last a lifetime. In a study published online in Genome Research, researchers have for the first time shown that the environment experienced in the womb defines the newborn epigenetic profile, the chemical modifications to DNA we are born with, that could have implications for disease risk later in life. Epigenetic tagging of genes by a chemical...

Immune Cell DNA Used In Diagnostic Technique
2012-07-09 17:16:37

By looking at signature chemical differences in the DNA of various immune cells called leukocytes, scientists have developed a way to determine their relative abundance in blood samples. The relative abundance turns out to correlate with specific cancers and other diseases, making the technique, described in two recent papers, potentially valuable not only for research but also for diagnostics and treatment monitoring. When a person is sick, there is a tell-tale sign in their blood: a...

2012-07-06 11:45:15

New research in the FASEB Journal suggests that DNA methylation is responsible for switching on and off a gene that produces the MMP13 enzyme that is known to be important in the destruction of cartilage In what could be a breakthrough in the practical application of epigenetic science, U.K. scientists used human tissue samples to discover that those with osteoarthritis have a signature epigenetic change (DNA methylation) responsible for switching on and off a gene that produces a...

Epigenetics Changes Genes In Rheumatoid Arthritis
2012-07-03 12:19:12

It's not just our DNA that makes us susceptible to disease and influences its impact and outcome. Scientists are beginning to realize more and more that important changes in genes that are unrelated to changes in the DNA sequence itself — a field of study known as epigenetics — are equally influential. A research team at the University of California, San Diego — led by Gary S. Firestein, professor in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at UC San Diego...

2012-05-22 21:26:36

The latest study was published as a highlighted paper in Nature Communications In a highlighted paper published online in Nature Communications, researchers from Sichuan Agricultural University and BGI, the world's largest genomics organization, reported the atlas of DNA methylomes in porcine adipose and muscle tissues, providing a valuable epigenomic source for obesity prediction and prevention as well as boosting the further development of pig as a model animal for human obesity...

2012-05-14 22:22:55

Alterations to the "on-off" switches of genes occur early in the development of prostate cancer and could be used as biomarkers to detect the disease months or even years earlier than current approaches, a Mayo Clinic study has found. These biomarkers – known as DNA methylation profiles – also can predict if the cancer is going to recur and if that recurrence will remain localized to the prostate or, instead, spread to other organs. The study, published in the journal Clinical...

2012-05-03 19:28:41

Lawson research provides new insight into disease pathology In a new study from Lawson Health Research Institute, Dr. Joseph Torchia has identified a new genetic pathway influencing the spread of cancer cells. The discovery of this mechanism could lead to new avenues for treatment. Regular cell division is regulated by methylation, a series of chemical changes. Methylation modifies DNA to ensure cells divide at a healthy, balanced rate. In cancer, the methylation process is unbalanced,...


Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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