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DNA methylation is a type of chemical modification of DNA that can be inherited and subsequently removed without changing the original DNA sequence. As such, it is part of the epigenetic code and is also the most well characterized epigenetic mechanism.
Joslin researcher identifies molecular pathway that causes neural tube defects in diabetic pregnancies

Joslin researcher identifies molecular pathway that causes neural tube defects in diabetic pregnancies

Mary R. Loeken, Ph.D., Investigator in the Section on Islet Cell and Regenerative Biology at Joslin Diabetes Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has discovered a molecular pathway responsible for neural tube defects in diabetic pregnancies. Her latest research findings in this pathway were published in the October issue of Diabetes. [More]
Effects of unhealthy lifestyle persist even after atherosclerosis treatment

Effects of unhealthy lifestyle persist even after atherosclerosis treatment

Almost everyone knows that improving your eating habits will most likely improve your health. What most people may not know, however, is that the effects of poor eating habits persist long after dietary habits are improved. In a new report appearing in the November 2014 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, scientists use mice to show that even after successful treatment of atherosclerosis (including lowering of blood cholesterol and a change in dietary habits) the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle still affect the way the immune system functions. [More]
Lund University researchers identify mechanisms that play vital role in development of type 2 diabetes

Lund University researchers identify mechanisms that play vital role in development of type 2 diabetes

By studying identical twins, researchers from Lund University in Sweden have identified mechanisms that could be behind the development of type 2 diabetes. This may explain cases where one identical twin develops type 2 diabetes while the other remains healthy. [More]
Salk researchers receive BRAIN Initiative funding

Salk researchers receive BRAIN Initiative funding

Joseph Ecker, a Salk professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and Margarita Behrens, Salk staff scientist, have been named recipients in the 2014 round of grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative for leading-edge work in neuroscience. [More]
Prenatal maternal stress exposure to Quebec ice storm predicts epigenetic profile of offspring

Prenatal maternal stress exposure to Quebec ice storm predicts epigenetic profile of offspring

The number of days an expectant mother was deprived of electricity during Quebec's Ice Storm (1998) predicts the epigenetic profile of her child, a new study finds. [More]
Scientists discover new clues about drug used in treating blood cancer

Scientists discover new clues about drug used in treating blood cancer

Keck Medicine of USC scientists have discovered new clues about a drug instrumental in treating a certain blood cancer that may provide important targets for researchers searching for cures. [More]
Human stem cells can be reset to their native undifferentiated state

Human stem cells can be reset to their native undifferentiated state

Scientists at the Babraham Institute, in collaboration with colleagues at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute, have made a breakthrough in stem cell research. Their paper, published today in Cell, describes how human stem cells can be reverted back to non-specialised cells. [More]
Researchers focus on how exposure to opioids may alter expression of OPRM1 gene

Researchers focus on how exposure to opioids may alter expression of OPRM1 gene

Some infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) secondary to in-utero opioid exposure have a more difficult time going through withdrawal than others, but the underlying reasons are not well understood. [More]
Researchers reveal how early changes in DNA methylation involved in Alzheimer's disease

Researchers reveal how early changes in DNA methylation involved in Alzheimer's disease

A new study led by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Rush University Medical Center, reveals how early changes in brain DNA methylation are involved in Alzheimer's disease. [More]
Subtle changes in gene can predict how brain reacts to stress

Subtle changes in gene can predict how brain reacts to stress

Scientists studying depression in teens have discovered that subtle changes in a gene can predict how the brain reacts to stress, which can cause such health issues as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and obesity. [More]
Epigenetic control of serotonin transporter predicts human brain function

Epigenetic control of serotonin transporter predicts human brain function

The tiny addition of a chemical mark atop a gene that is well known for its involvement in clinical depression and posttraumatic stress disorder can affect the way a person's brain responds to threats, according to a new study by Duke University researchers. [More]
New web-based tool enables researchers to quickly visualize genomic information

New web-based tool enables researchers to quickly visualize genomic information

Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed a new, web-based tool that enables researchers to quickly and easily visualize and compare large amounts of genomic information resulting from high-throughput sequencing experiments. [More]
Epigenetic switch can cause cancer, shows study

Epigenetic switch can cause cancer, shows study

Cancer has long been thought to be primarily a genetic disease, but in recent decades scientists have come to believe that epigenetic changes - which don't change the DNA sequence but how it is 'read' - also play a role in cancer. [More]
Children who experience stress early in life have emotional, physical health problems

Children who experience stress early in life have emotional, physical health problems

Children who have been abused or neglected early in life are at risk for developing both emotional and physical health problems. [More]

VCU awarded $3 million grant to study how childhood adverse experiences create long-term health risks

Virginia Commonwealth University has received a five-year, $3 million grant to study how adverse experiences such as severe illnesses, neglect and maltreatment during childhood leave molecular marks in DNA that predict health risks later in life. [More]
Researchers develop new single-cell technique to study environmental effects on DNA

Researchers develop new single-cell technique to study environmental effects on DNA

Researchers at the BBSRC-funded Babraham Institute, in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Single Cell Genomics Centre, have developed a powerful new single-cell technique to help investigate how the environment affects our development and the traits we inherit from our parents. [More]
Findings provide new insights into the basic biology of stem cells

Findings provide new insights into the basic biology of stem cells

A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University and Salk Institute for Biological Studies has shown for the first time that stem cells created using different methods produce differing cells. [More]
DNA methylation identified as potential anti-TNF response biomarker for RA

DNA methylation identified as potential anti-TNF response biomarker for RA

DNA methylation has been identified as a potential biomarker of response to etanercept and adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) according to preliminary results from one of the largest methylome-wide investigations of treatment response to anti-TNF therapies. [More]
Study examines effect of phthalate exposure in humans’ sperm epigenetics

Study examines effect of phthalate exposure in humans’ sperm epigenetics

A new three-year, $440,000 study led by environmental health scientist Richard Pilsner at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is now underway to investigate whether phthalate levels in expectant fathers have an effect on the couples' reproductive success, via epigenetic modifications of sperm DNA. [More]
Gene regulation responsible for normal breast tissue may also play role in cancer development

Gene regulation responsible for normal breast tissue may also play role in cancer development

About one in eight women in the United States will contract breast cancer in her lifetime. Now new research from Tel Aviv University-affiliated researchers, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, has provided another tool to help women, clinicians, and scientists searching for a cure to the one of the most widespread yet incurable diseases on the planet. [More]