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Keyword: epigenetics

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  • Darwin's Finches: Answers From Epigenetics

    09/02/2014 7:50:15 AM PDT · by fishtank · 5 replies
    Institute for Creation Research ^ | 8-29-14 | Jeffrey Tomkins PhD
    Darwin's Finches: Answers From Epigenetics by Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D. * Authentic speciation is a process whereby organisms diversify within the boundaries of their gene pools, and this can result in variants with specific ecological adaptability. While it was once thought that this process was strictly facilitated by DNA sequence variability, Darwin's classic example of speciation in finches now includes a surprisingly strong epigenetic component as well.1 Epigenetic changes involve the addition of chemical tags in an organism's genome without actually changing the genetic code. Both the DNA nucleotides and the proteins that DNA is wrapped around (called histones) can be...
  • Neandertal: The Answer Is Epigenetics Not Evolution

    05/05/2014 10:46:06 AM PDT · by fishtank · 44 replies
    Institute for Creation Research ^ | 5-2-2014 | Jeffrey Tomkins PhD
    Neandertal: The Answer Is Epigenetics Not Evolution by Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D. * Recent genome reports show that the Neandertals are essentially fully human, causing scientists to reclassify them as "archaic humans."1,2 But what about the apparent subtle differences in anatomy that first caused scientists to claim that Neandertals were a completely different species? It turns out that the answer can be found in epigenetics, according to newly published research.3 Epigenetics, in the more modern sense, refers to the heritable chemical changes performed by cellular machines to DNA that alter gene function without actually changing the DNA nucleotide code. In the...
  • Epigenetics: The sins of the father - The roots of inheritance may extend beyond the genome...

    03/14/2014 1:07:40 PM PDT · by neverdem · 32 replies
    Nature News ^ | 05 March 2014 | Virginia Hughes
    The roots of inheritance may extend beyond the genome, but the mechanisms remain a puzzle. When Brian Dias became a father last October, he was, like any new parent, mindful of the enormous responsibility that lay before him. From that moment on, every choice he made could affect his newborn son's physical and psychological development. But, unlike most new parents, Dias was also aware of the influence of his past experiences — not to mention those of his parents, his grandparents and beyond. Where one's ancestors lived, or how much they valued education, can clearly have effects that pass down...
  • Evolutionists Call New Plant Epigenetic Study 'Heresy' (article)

    10/04/2013 2:50:49 PM PDT · by fishtank · 11 replies
    Institute for Creation Research ^ | Oct. 3, 2013 | Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D.
    Evolutionists Call New Plant Epigenetic Study 'Heresy' by Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D. * New research has uncovered a hidden layer of trait-determining epigenetic information that resides outside the DNA sequence in plants. This new discovery challenges the evolutionary paradigms of the scientific community and their long-standing views on how organisms adapt to changing environments at the molecular biological level of the cell. In fact, some are even calling this recent research "evolution heresy."1 For over the past 50 years, Darwinian evolutionists have attributed changes in an organism's traits to the specific DNA sequences that code for them. They never anticipated a...
  • How Exercise Changes Fat and Muscle Cells

    07/31/2013 10:02:54 PM PDT · by neverdem · 33 replies
    NY Times ^ | July 31, 2013 | GRETCHEN REYNOLDS
    Exercise promotes health, reducing most people’s risks of developing diabetes and growing obese. But just how, at a cellular level, exercise performs this beneficial magic — what physiological steps are involved and in what order — remains mysterious to a surprising degree. Several striking new studies, however, provide some clarity by showing that exercise seems able to drastically alter how genes operate. Genes are, of course, not static. They turn on or off, depending on what biochemical signals they receive from elsewhere in the body. When they are turned on, genes express various proteins that, in turn, prompt a range...
  • Gene switches make prairie voles fall in love

    06/04/2013 10:28:00 PM PDT · by neverdem · 18 replies
    Nature News ^ | 02 June 2013 | Zoe Cormier
    Epigenetic changes affect neurotransmitters that lead to pair-bond formation. Love really does change your brain — at least, if you’re a prairie vole. Researchers have shown for the first time that the act of mating induces permanent chemical modifications in the chromosomes, affecting the expression of genes that regulate sexual and monogamous behaviour. The study is published today in Nature Neuroscience1. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) have long been of interest to neuroscientists and endocrinologists who study the social behaviour of animals, in part because this species forms monogamous pair bonds — essentially mating for life. The voles' pair bonding, sharing...
  • Epigenetic changes shed light on biological mechanism of autism

    04/28/2013 3:23:25 PM PDT · by neverdem · 7 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | April 23, 2013 | NA
    Scientists from King's College London have identified patterns of epigenetic changes involved in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by studying genetically identical twins who differ in autism traits. The study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, is the largest of its kind and may shed light on the biological mechanism by which environmental influences regulate the activity of certain genes and in turn contribute to the development of ASD and related behaviour traits. ASD affects approximately 1 in 100 people in the UK and involves a spectrum of disorders which manifest themselves differently in different people. People with ASD have varying levels of...
  • Mayo Clinic and Illinois researchers develop new sensor for methylated DNA

    04/04/2013 3:38:37 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | March 15, 2013 | NA
    Collaborators from Mayo-Illinois Alliance for Technology Based Healthcare have developed a new, single molecule test for detecting methylated DNA. Methylation -- the addition of a methyl group of molecules to a DNA strand -- is one of the ways gene expression is regulated. The findings appear in the current issue of Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). "While nanopores have been studied for genomic sequencing and screening analysis, this new assay can potentially circumvent the need for some of the current processes in evaluating epigenetics-related diseases," says George Vasmatzis, Ph.D., co-leader of Mayo's Biomarker Discovery Program in the Center for Individualized...
  • Homosexuality as a Consequence of Epigenetically Canalized Sexual Development

    04/01/2013 12:23:05 PM PDT · by abigailsmybaby · 63 replies
    Chicago Journals ^ | December 2012 | The University of Chicago Press
    ABSTRACT Male and female homosexuality have substantial prevalence in humans. Pedigree and twin studies indicate that homosexuality has substantial heritability in both sexes, yet concordance between identical twins is low and molecular studies have failed to find associated DNA markers. This paradoxical pattern calls for an explanation. We use published data on fetal androgen signaling and gene regulation via nongenetic changes in DNA packaging (epigenetics) to develop a new model for homosexuality. reduced androgen sensitivity in XX fetuses and enhanced sensitivity in XY fetuses, and that this difference is most feasibly caused by numerous sex-specific epigenetic modifications (“epi-marks”) originating in...
  • Former APA Pres. Dr. Cummings Discusses Gay Change,Epigenetics,Neutrinos,& Political Correctness

    03/15/2013 10:43:49 AM PDT · by Maelstorm · 2 replies
    RPVNetwork ^ | March 15, 2013 | F.R Newbrough
    Former APA Pres. Dr. Nicolas Cummings Discusses Gay Change, Epigenetics, Neutrinos, & Political Correctness. - RPVNetwork
  • Epigenetics: How Our Experiences Affect Our Offspring

    02/04/2013 1:10:36 PM PST · by blam · 23 replies
    The Week Magazine ^ | 1-20-2013 | The Week Staff
    Epigenetics: How Our Experiences Affect Our Offspring New research suggests that people's experiences, not just their genes, can affect the biological legacy of their offspring By The Week Staff January 20, 2013 Isn't our genetic legacy hardwired? From Mendel and Darwin in the 19th century to Watson and Crick in the 20th, scientists have shown that chromosomes passed from parent to child form a genetic blueprint for development. But in a quiet scientific revolution, researchers have in recent years come to realize that genes aren't a fixed, predetermined program simply passed from one generation to the next. Instead, genes can...
  • A little radiation is good for mice - Low doses of radioactivity led to healthier pups

    12/30/2012 10:15:02 AM PST · by neverdem · 16 replies
    ScienceNews ^ | November 6, 2012 | Tina Hesman Saey
    X-rays may not heal broken bones, but low doses of ionizing radiation may spark other health benefits, a new study of mice suggests. Radiation in high doses has well-known harmful effects. Scientists had thought low doses would do less extensive damage but could add up to big problems later. But radiation acts differently at low doses, producing health benefits for mice with an unusual genetic makeup, Randy Jirtle of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and colleagues report online November 1 in the FASEB Journal. Antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamins C and E, erased those health gains. “What goes on at high...
  • Smoking Smothers Your Genes

    12/23/2012 3:17:15 PM PST · by neverdem · 20 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 21 December 2012 | Karl Gruber
    Enlarge Image Risk factor. Smoking may cause chemical modifications of DNA. Credit: Hemera/Thinkstock Cigarettes leave you with more than a smoky scent on your clothes and fingernails. A new study has found strong evidence that tobacco use can chemically modify and affect the activity of genes known to increase the risk of developing cancer. The finding may give researchers a new tool to assess cancer risk among people who smoke. DNA isn't destiny. Chemical compounds that affect the functioning of genes can bind to our genetic material, turning certain genes on or off. These so-called epigenetic modifications can influence...
  • More than 3,000 epigenetic switches control daily liver cycles

    12/14/2012 2:34:22 PM PST · by neverdem · 7 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | December 11, 2012 | NA
    Thousand of epigenetic switches in the liver control whether genes turn on or off in response to circadian cycles. The figure illustrates daily changes, every six hours, in five different...When it's dark, and we start to fall asleep, most of us think we're tired because our bodies need rest. Yet circadian rhythms affect our bodies not just on a global scale, but at the level of individual organs, and even genes. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute have determined the specific genetic switches that sync liver activity to the circadian cycle. Their finding gives further insight into the mechanisms behind...
  • Zinc deficiency mechanism linked to aging, multiple diseases

    10/12/2012 4:34:27 PM PDT · by neverdem · 82 replies
    Biology News Net ^ | October 1, 2012 | NA
    A new study has outlined for the first time a biological mechanism by which zinc deficiency can develop with age, leading to a decline of the immune system and increased inflammation associated with many health problems, including cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease and diabetes. The research was done by scientists in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University and the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences. It suggests that it's especially important for elderly people to get adequate dietary intake of zinc, since they may need more of it at this life stage when their ability to...
  • Cancer-causing mutations yield their secrets

    02/17/2012 11:05:15 AM PST · by neverdem · 4 replies
    Nature News ^ | 15 February 2012 | Heidi Ledford
    Changes to metabolism disrupt cells' ability to differentiate. The mystery of how mutations in a gene called isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) cause brain cancer and leukaemia is beginning to be unravelled. Researchers have discovered that the mutations cause the production of an enzyme that can reconfigure on–off switches across the genome and stop cells from differentiating. The findings, published in three papers today in Nature1–3, could be used in the development of drugs for cancers with these mutations — a search that is already under way in many pharmaceutical companies. Some cancer patients could benefit from new treatments that target...
  • Unmuffled Genes Slow Down Lung Cancer

    11/13/2011 10:49:22 PM PST · by neverdem · 6 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 9 November 2011 | Jocelyn Kaiser
    Enlarge Image Responder. Tumors in a patient's lung (top), lymph nodes, and liver shrank over 8 months after he received an epigenetic drug combination. He is alive 2 years later. Credit: Adapted from R. A. Juergens et al., Cancer Discovery (December 2011), © American Association for Cancer Research A novel approach to treating lung cancer that aims to switch on dormant tumor-blocking genes has shown promise in a small clinical trial. The 45 patients on average lived a couple months longer than they would have with no treatment, and two patients' tumors almost or completely disappeared. The results suggest that...
  • Why Skinny Moms Sometimes Produce Fat Children

    04/22/2011 9:49:13 PM PDT · by neverdem · 30 replies · 1+ views
    ScienceNOW ^ | 22 April 2011 | Elizabeth Finkel
    Obesity is on the rise in nations across the globe, and more than diet and genetics may be to blame. A new study suggests a third factor is at work: DNA-binding molecules that can be passed down from mother to child in the womb. The finding could explain why what a woman eats while pregnant can sometimes influence the weight of her child—even into adulthood. Scientists first began to suspect that a mother’s diet could affect the weight of her offspring in 1976. Studying the Dutch famine of 1945, when the German army cut off food supplies to western Holland,...
  • Some stem cells hold on to their past, researchers say

    02/03/2011 9:38:37 AM PST · by Gondring · 14 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | February 3, 2011 | Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
    Stem cells made from mature cells and rewound to an embryonic-like state retain a distinct "memory" of their past that might limit their potential for therapeutic use, scientists reported Wednesday in the journal Nature. [...] They looked at 1.2 billion places in each genome where such chemical markers [epigenomes] exist. The analysis was unusually rigorous — and therefore unusually revealing, Ecker said. Earlier studies examined representative regions in the genome, rather than the whole thing. [...] For the most part, the contents of Ecker's metaphorical rooms looked alike. But when they zoomed in, inconsistencies emerged. In a side-by-side comparison of...
  • Scientists bring cancer cells back under control

    01/18/2011 12:15:55 PM PST · by decimon · 17 replies
    The University of Nottingham ^ | January 13, 2011 | Lindsay Brooke
    Scientists at The University of Nottingham have brought cancer cells back under normal control — by reactivating their cancer suppressor genes. The discovery could form a powerful new technology platform for the treatment of cancer of the breast and other cancers. Breast cancer is diagnosed in about 1.4 million women throughout the world every year, with half a million dying from the disease. A common cause of cancer is when cells are altered or mutated and the body’s tumour suppressor genes are switched off. Research, published today in the Journal Molecular Cancer, reveals how Dr Cinzia Allegrucci from the School...
  • DNA 'Volume Knobs' May Be Associated With Obesity

    09/15/2010 3:15:53 PM PDT · by neverdem · 21 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 15 September 2010 | Elizabeth Pennisi
    When it comes to our expanding waistlines, we usually blame either diet or genes. But a new study fingers a third culprit: chemicals that attach to DNA and change its function. A survey of millions of these modifications has uncovered a handful associated with body mass index, a measure of height and weight. Although the findings don't prove that the modifications cause obesity, they may one day help doctors better predict who should be counting their calories. The chemicals in question are known as methyl groups, and they act a bit like volume knobs on our DNA. They can turn...
  • 'Epigenetic' concepts offer new approach to degenerative disease (Dietary approach?)

    04/28/2010 4:17:12 AM PDT · by decimon · 18 replies · 377+ views
    ANAHEIM, CA – In studies on cancer, heart disease, neurological disorders and other degenerative conditions, some scientists are moving away from the "nature versus nurture" debate, and are finding you're not a creature of either genetics or environment, but both - with enormous implications for a new approach to health. The new field of "epigenetics" is rapidly revealing how people, plants and animals do start with a certain genetic code at conception. But, the choice of which genes are "expressed," or activated, is strongly affected by environmental influences. The expression of genes can change quite rapidly over time, they can...
  • What You Eat Affects You, Your Kids and Your Grandkids

    04/28/2010 6:19:43 PM PDT · by decimon · 10 replies · 340+ views
    Live Science ^ | Apr 28, 2010 | Robin Nixon
    While cancer victims usually blame themselves - I shouldn't have smoked, should have eaten better, should have exercised - or the cruelty of chance, they may now have a new scapegoat: Grandma. Eating poorly during pregnancy can increase your children's and your grandchildren's risk of cancer, even if they themselves eat healthily, a new study on rats suggests. The risk associated with high-fat diets, especially those high in omega-6 fatty acids, "can be passed from one generation to another without any further exposure," said lead researcher Sonia de Assis of Georgetown University. > This should not imply that fat causes...
  • Why everything you've been told about evolution is wrong (now this is weird)

    What if Darwin's theory of natural selection is inaccurate? What if the way you live now affects the life expectancy of your descendants?
  • Epigenetics: Chemicals Turn Genes On and Off at the Wrong Times

    02/24/2010 7:50:30 PM PST · by FReepaholic · 5 replies · 270+ views
    Natural News ^ | February 23, 2010 | David Gutierrez
    Scientists are increasingly becoming aware of a new mechanism by which pollutants can damage the health of living organisms -- epigenetic changes, in which a chemical changes how a gene is expressed......Like mutations, epigenetic effects can be passed on to a person's offspring......"There is a huge potential impact from these exposures, partly because the changes may be inherited across generations,"...
  • Study shows how gene action may lead to diabetes prevention, cure (For now, eat fish)

    12/11/2009 3:53:57 PM PST · by decimon · 19 replies · 719+ views
    Texas A&M AgriLife Communications ^ | Dec 11, 2009 | Unknown
    COLLEGE STATION – A gene commonly studied by cancer researchers has been linked to the metabolic inflammation that leads to diabetes. Understanding how the gene works means scientists may be closer to finding ways to prevent or cure diabetes, according to a study by Texas AgriLife Research appearing in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. "Because we understand the mechanism, or how the gene works, we believe a focus on nutrition will find the way to both prevent and reverse diabetes," said Dr. Chaodong Wu, AgriLife Research nutrition and food scientist who authored the paper with the University of Minnesota's Dr....
  • Tweaking the Genetic Code: Debunking Attempts to Engineer Evolution

    12/01/2009 9:22:15 AM PST · by GodGunsGuts · 26 replies · 1,287+ views
    ACTS & FACTS ^ | December 2009 | Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D.
    A new concept making its way through the scientific community holds that just a few key changes in the right genes will result in a whole new life form as different from its progenitor as a bird is from a lizard![1] This idea is being applied to a number of key problems in the evolutionary model, one of which is the lack of transitional forms in both the fossil record and the living (extant) record. The new concept supposedly adds support to the "punctuated equilibrium" model proposed by the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen J. Gould. Dr. Gould derived his ideas...
  • “Junk” DNA Discovered to Have Both Cellular and Microevolutionary Functions

    11/04/2009 10:46:48 AM PST · by GodGunsGuts · 59 replies · 1,775+ views
    Evolution News & Views ^ | November 3, 2009 | Casey Luskin
    “Junk” DNA Discovered to Have Both Cellular and Microevolutionary Functions Evolutionists have long sought mechanisms for the origin of reproductive barriers between populations, mechanisms which are thought to be key to the formation of new species. A recent article in ScienceDaily finds that “Junk DNA” might be the “mechanism that prevents two species from reproducing.” Basically, so-called “junk”-DNA is involved in helping to package chromosomes in the cell. If two species have different “junk” DNA, then this prevents the proteins in the egg from properly packaging the chromosomes donated by the sperm. The organism does not develop properly. As the...
  • How Life Works [immutable laws of nature point Creation/Intelligent design...HTML version!]

    11/01/2009 4:02:49 PM PST · by GodGunsGuts · 60 replies · 2,135+ views
    Journal of Creation ^ | Alex Williams
    Life is not a naturalistic phenomenon with unlimited evolutionary potential as Darwin proposed. It is intelligently designed, ruled by immutable laws, and survives only because it has a built-in facilitated variation mechanism for continually adapting to internal and external challenges and changes. The essential components are: functional molecular architecture and machinery, modular switching cascades that control the machinery and a signal network that coordinates everything. All three are required for survival, so they must have been present from the beginning—a conclusion that demands intelligent design. Life’s built-in ability to adapt and diversify looks like Darwinian evolution, but it is not....
  • The Human Methylome: What Do These Patterns Mean? (high state of living cell's design "astonishing")

    10/22/2009 10:13:30 AM PDT · by GodGunsGuts · 29 replies · 1,171+ views
    ICR News ^ | October 22, 2009 | Brian Thomas, M.S.
    The Human Methylome: What Do These Patterns Mean? by Brian Thomas, M.S.* For decades, researchers have noticed that tiny chemicals called “methyl groups” piggyback on DNA molecules, and that they occur in certain patterns. Intrigued by the meaning and function of methylation patterns, especially as they relate to medicine, a five-year, $ 190-million-dollar research effort funded by the National Institutes of Health began in 2008. In one of its studies, researchers have stumbled upon a new intricacy of cell function.Joseph Ecker of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies led a collaboration to generate the world’s first complete map of human...
  • Liberating biology from a Procrustean bed of dogma (even the evos are abandoning the HMS Beagle!!!)

    09/29/2009 1:39:24 PM PDT · by GodGunsGuts · 59 replies · 1,868+ views
    Science Literature (ARN) ^ | September 25, 2009 | David Tyler, Ph.D.
    In a Commentary essay, Carl Woese and Nigel Goldenfeld provide an analysis of biological thought that differs profoundly from that presented by those celebrating the Bicentenary of Darwin's birth and, incidentally, the recently published AP Biology Standards. "This is the story of how biology of the 20th century neglected and otherwise mishandled the study of what is arguably the most important problem in all of science: the nature of the evolutionary process. This problem [ . . ] became the private domain of a quasi-scientific movement, who secreted it away in a morass of petty scholasticism, effectively disguising the fact...
  • Genetic changes outside nuclear DNA suspected to trigger more than half of all cancers

    03/25/2009 11:03:27 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies · 852+ views
    A buildup of chemical bonds on certain cancer-promoting genes, a process known as hypermethylation, is widely known to render cells cancerous by disrupting biological brakes on runaway growth. Now, Johns Hopkins scientists say the reverse process — demethylation — which wipes off those chemical bonds may also trigger more than half of all cancers. One potential consequence of the new research is that demethylating drugs now used to treat some cancers may actually cause new cancers as a side effect. "It's much too early to say for certain, but some patients could be at risk for additional primary tumors, and...
  • Child abuse leaves lasting 'scars' on DNA - Lingering marks on DNA could amplify stress responses.

    02/23/2009 1:34:04 AM PST · by neverdem · 34 replies · 1,981+ views
    Nature News ^ | 20 February 2009 | Heidi Ledford
    Victims of childhood abuse can carry chemical changes to their DNA into adulthood.Punchstock Suicide victims with a history of abuse during childhood are more likely to carry chemical changes to their DNA that could affect how they respond to stress as adults, a study has found. Those with no history of childhood abuse did not show the same pattern of DNA modification, and had normal expression of NR3C1, a gene linked to stress responses. But the findings do not mean that the effect of childhood abuse is indelible, cautions Joan Kaufman, a psychologist at Yale School of Medicine in New...
  • The genetic puppeteer (ever wonder why genetic twins look progressively different over time?)

    02/18/2009 8:49:26 PM PST · by GodGunsGuts · 98 replies · 2,072+ views
    Creation Magazine ^ | David White
    The genetic puppeteer by David White Back in 2005 a group of researchers published a landmark study on a question that has long puzzled geneticists: why aren’t identical twins … identical? Considering that they have the same DNA sequence in each of their cells, it seems a bit strange that they often possess a number of physical differences, such as different fingerprints, and different susceptibilities to disease. This raises the question: if two people can have identical DNA sequences and yet be so different, is there more to our genetic blueprint than just DNA?...
  • Epigenetics: More Information than Evolution Can Handle

    01/30/2009 9:13:33 AM PST · by GodGunsGuts · 7 replies · 515+ views
    ICR ^ | January 30, 2009 | Brian Thomas
    Epigenetics: More Information than Evolution Can Handle by Brian Thomas, M.S. Living things develop partly according to genetic instructions encoded on their DNA. The study of inheritance has widened the paradigms from genes to genomes, and now recent research has added yet another player to the field. Critical biological information is carried from one generation to the next in systems additional to DNA, called epigenetic factors, say scientists at the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Medical doctor Art Petronis and his team at the CAMH compared methylated DNA patterns (possible epigenetic factors) across the entire genome of...
  • Epigenetics reveals unexpected, and some identical, results

    01/25/2009 11:03:50 PM PST · by neverdem · 9 replies · 541+ views
    Science News ^ | January 18th, 2009 | Tina Hesman Saey
    One study finds tissue-specific methylation signatures in the genome; another a similarity between identical twins in DNA’s chemical tagging Tattoos on the skin can say a lot about person. On a deeper level, chemical tattoos on a person’s DNA are just as distinctive and individual — and say far more about a person’s life history. A pair of reports published online January 18 in Nature Genetics show just how important one type of DNA tattoo, called methylation, can be. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University report the unexpected finding that most DNA methylation — a chemical alteration that turns off genes...
  • Rethinking The Genetic Theory Of Inheritance: Heritability May Not Be Limited To DNA

    01/21/2009 4:17:24 AM PST · by decimon · 9 replies · 452+ views
    Science Daily ^ | Jan. 20, 2008 | Unknown
    ScienceDaily (Jan. 20, 2009) — Scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have detected evidence that DNA may not be the only carrier of heritable information; a secondary molecular mechanism called epigenetics may also account for some inherited traits and diseases. These findings challenge the fundamental principles of genetics and inheritance, and potentially provide a new insight into the primary causes of human diseases.
  • Stressed-out mice reveal role of epigenetics in behavior

    12/11/2008 9:23:23 PM PST · by neverdem · 3 replies · 334+ views
    biologynews.net ^ | December 11, 2008 | NA
    Research conducted by a team in Switzerland suggests that a family of genes involved in regulating the expression of other genes in the brain is responsible for helping us deal with external inputs such as stress. Their results, appearing in the December 11 advance online version of the journal Neuron, may also give a clue to why some people are more susceptible to anxiety or depression than others. The researchers from EPFL and the National Competence Center "Frontiers in Genetics" studied the role of a family of genes known as KRAB-ZFP, which acts like a group of genetic censors, selectively...
  • The Delicate Balance of Ear Crystals (Darwinist reductionism undermined by epigenetic development)

    12/10/2008 5:02:34 PM PST · by GodGunsGuts · 63 replies · 1,381+ views
    ICR ^ | December 9, 2008 | Brian Thomas, M.S.
    The Delicate Balance of Ear Crystals by Brian Thomas, M.S. UCLA researchers have discovered that tiny crystals called otoliths—necessary parts of a properly functioning inner ear—form not as the direct result of a gene product, but rather as the result of the physical, swaying motion of hair-like cilia during development. As adult vertebrate bodies move about, otoliths are pulled by gravity and enable the detection of movement, which is vital for maintaining balance. The researchers studied these crystals in fish embryos, where they accumulate as gelatinous proteins mixed with calcium carbonate. When fully and properly formed, the crystals lie atop...
  • Eating Eggs When Pregnant Affects Breast Cancer In Offspring

    12/02/2008 11:40:27 PM PST · by fightinJAG · 35 replies · 1,252+ views
    Science Daily ^ | Dec 3, 2008 | Staff
    ScienceDaily (Dec. 2, 2008) — A stunning discovery based on epigenetics (the inheritance of propensities acquired in the womb) reveals that consuming choline—a nutrient found in eggs and other foods—during pregnancy may significantly affect breast cancer outcomes for a mother's offspring. This finding by a team of biologists at Boston University is the first to link choline consumption during pregnancy to breast cancer. It also is the first to identify possible choline-related genetic changes that affect breast cancer survival rates. "We've known for a long time that some agents taken by pregnant women, such as diethylstibesterol, have adverse consequences for...
  • Obesity linked to grandparental diet

    11/21/2008 11:19:16 PM PST · by neverdem · 21 replies · 949+ views
    Nature News ^ | 20 November 2008 | Alison Abbott
    Mice eating high-fat foods confer changes on at least two subsequent generations. You are what you eat, and so are your progeny and, perhaps, your progeny's progeny — at least, if you're a mouse. According to research presented at the Society for Neuroscience's 38th annual meeting in Washington DC held from 15–19 November, mice fed on a high-fat diet throughout their pregnancies and suckling had offspring that were larger than normal — a trait that was also passed on to their offspring's offspring. It is the first time that a gestating mother's diet has been shown to confer this trait...
  • Outcry at scale of inheritance project - NIH launches multi-million-dollar epigenomics programme.

    10/12/2008 11:17:18 AM PDT · by neverdem · 11 replies · 527+ views
    Nature News ^ | 10 October 2008 | Helen Pearson
    The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) handed out the first payments in a multi-million-dollar project to explore epigenomics last month. But some researchers are voicing concerns about the scientific and economic justification for this latest 'big biology' venture. Epigenetics, described as "inheritance, but not as we know it"1, is now a blisteringly hot field. It is concerned with changes in gene expression that are typically inherited, but not caused by changes in gene sequence. In theory, epigenetic studies can help explain how the millions of cells in the human body can carry identical DNA but form completely different cell...
  • A protein that makes breast cancer spread

    03/16/2008 12:46:17 PM PDT · by neverdem · 17 replies · 805+ views
    Nature News ^ | 12 March 2008 | Anna Petherick
    Researchers pinpoint protein 'boss' that controls gene expression. Link to Getty photo from a microscope Will it spread? One protein controls the expression of many genes that dictate whether breast cancer will metastasize. GettyA protein that determines whether breast cancer will spread and become deadly has been found. Researchers say that the protein, which is found inside the nuclei of cells, would be difficult and potentially dangerous to target with drugs. But monitoring for the protein could help patients to know how dangerous their cancer is before it spreads elsewhere, and help them to decide which treatment to chose. Because...
  • The Claim: Identical Twins Have Identical DNA (No, copy-number variation strikes again!)

    03/15/2008 12:24:17 AM PDT · by neverdem · 27 replies · 1,507+ views
    NY Times ^ | March 11, 2008 | ANAHAD O’CONNOR
    Really? THE FACTS It is a basic tenet of human biology, taught in grade schools everywhere: Identical twins come from the same fertilized egg and, thus, share identical genetic profiles. But according to new research, though identical twins share very similar genes, identical they are not. The discovery opens a new understanding of why two people who hail from the same embryo can differ in phenotype, as biologists refer to a person’s physical manifestation. The new findings appear in the March issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics, in a study conducted by scientists at the University of Alabama...
  • The Histone Code (genetic code not the only code?)

    01/08/2008 7:28:22 PM PST · by GodGunsGuts · 211 replies · 238+ views
    USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center ^ | 2007 | Judd C. Rice, Ph.D.
    It is now clear that genetics won’t be able to answer all of our questions about human development and disease. These basic biological processes rely heavily on epigenetics – the ability to ‘fine-tune’ the expression of specific genes. This regulation of gene expression is essential for defining cellular identity and the dysregulation of these processes results in a variety of human diseases. Therefore, understanding these mechanisms will not only enhance our basic knowledge but will also lead to the improved detection, therapy and prognoses of several human diseases. ... The histone code hypothesis predicts that the post-translational modifications of histones,...
  • Lasting genetic legacy of environment (Epigenome).

    12/20/2007 2:20:13 PM PST · by Jedi Master Pikachu · 11 replies · 510+ views
    BBC ^ | Thursday, December 20, 2007. | Monise Durrani
    Environment can change the way our genes work Environmental factors such as stress and diet could be affecting the genes of future generations leading to increased rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.A study of people suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the 9/11 attacks in New York made a striking discovery. The patients included mothers who were pregnant on 9/11 and found altered levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood of their babies. This effect was most pronounced for mothers who were in the third trimester of pregnancy suggesting events in the womb might be responsible....
  • Methylating the Mind

    12/08/2007 12:03:42 AM PST · by neverdem · 9 replies · 151+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 7 December 2007 | Elizabeth Quill
    All brain cells are the same, genetically speaking. Yet somehow they play vastly different roles, some directing movement, others participating in language or thought. Now, a study finds that a chemical known to turn genes on and off may be partially responsible for this division of labor. The results, researchers suggest, could help scientists better understand psychiatric and neurological diseases. It takes more than genes to make people who they are. Identical twins, for example, can look and act differently even though they share the same DNA (ScienceNOW, 5 July 2005). Environmental factors likely contribute to this variation, but it...
  • Rule-Breaker Genes Identified

    12/01/2007 12:59:34 AM PST · by neverdem · 12 replies · 63+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 30 November 2007 | Elizabeth Pennisi
    The battle of the sexes extends all the way to our chromosomes. In some cases, the copy of a gene inherited from one parent shuts down, leaving just the copy from the other parent active and upsetting the classic rules of inheritance. Now researchers have come up with the first comprehensive map of these so-called imprinted genes in humans. Many of them lie in regions of chromosomes implicated in disease and may be involved in problems such as autism and obesity. Geneticists discovered imprinting in 1991 and now know that defects in imprinted genes lead to abnormal development and to...
  • Flawed Stem Cells Yield Fragile X Clues: Researchers study genetic disorder via discarded embryos

    11/20/2007 3:33:31 PM PST · by neverdem · 3 replies · 104+ views
    Science News ^ | Week of Nov. 17, 2007 | Brian Vastag
    Scrutinizing the first days of development in abnormal embryonic stem cells, researchers have uncovered a basic mechanism underlying fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of mental retardation in boys. "It could have important implications for treatment," says W. Ted Brown, cochair of the scientific committee of the National Fragile X Foundation, which helped fund the work. The research also highlights the value of embryonic stem cells for studying genetic diseases, says Yang Xu, a stem cell researcher at the University of California, San Diego. Fragile X syndrome is caused by a mutation in a gene called fmr1. By...
  • The Need for Speed

    08/27/2007 6:19:11 PM PDT · by Maelstorm · 8 replies · 331+ views
    The Sanger Institute ^ | 12th July 2007 | The Human Epigenome Project (HEP)
    A difference of only a few percent in DNA sequence is thought to separate the human and chimp genomes. New research published in Genome Biology identifies the subset of sequences that may have driven the evolution of our two species.The researchers propose that the key changes lie in regions of our genome that control the activity of genes. It is managers of the genome, rather than the workforce, that have been most responsible for differences between chimps and humans.A team led by scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute looked at DNA elements called conserved non-coding regions (CNCs) in human,...