Epigenetics Research

Epigenetics News -- ScienceDaily Read the latest research news on epigenetics, epigenetic influences on disease risk and gene silencing.

  • Not in the DNA: Epigenetics discovered in single-celled archaea
    on December 3, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Researchers have reported the first experimental evidence of epigenetics in the single-celled organisms known as archaea. The simplicity of archaea -- combined with the fact that their cells resemble eukaryotes' in some important ways -- may allow researchers to investigate epigenetic questions in humans much faster and more easily than was possible before, the authors say. […]

  • Exploiting epigenetic variation for plant breeding
    on November 8, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Epigenetic changes can bring about new traits without altering the sequence of genes. This may allow plants to respond quicker to changes in their environment. Plant biologists have now demonstrated that epigenetic variation is also subject to selection and can be inherited. This could expand the possibilities for crop breeding. […]

  • Studies raise questions over how epigenetic information is inherited
    on October 30, 2018 at 3:04 am

    Evidence has been building in recent years that our diet, our habits or traumatic experiences can have consequences for the health of our children -- and even our grandchildren. The explanation that has gained most currency for how this occurs is so-called 'epigenetic inheritance' -- patterns of chemical 'marks' on or around our DNA that are hypothesized to be passed down the generations. New research suggests this mechanism of non-genetic inheritance is likely to be very rare. […]

  • There's a better way to decipher DNA's epigenetic code to identify disease
    on October 8, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    A new method for sequencing the chemical groups attached to the surface of DNA is paving the way for better detection of cancer and other diseases in the blood. These chemical groups mark one of the four DNA 'letters' in the genome, and it is differences in these marks along DNA that control which genes are expressed or silenced. […]

  • When a chemical tag makes the difference in cell fate and gene expression
    on September 19, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Scientists have uncovered the role of special chemical 'tags' in controlling vital genes involved in early mammalian development. […]

  • New insights into DNA phase separation
    on September 18, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    A recent study has presented the notion of 'DNA Phase Separation', which suggests that the DNA within the nucleus may trigger phase separation, like oil in water. […]

  • Epigenetic patterns determine if honeybee larvae become queens or workers
    on August 22, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Scientists have unraveled how changes in nutrition in the early development of honeybees can result in vastly different adult characteristics. […]

  • Epic genetic: the hidden story of wheat
    on August 22, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Biologists have uncovered the hidden genetic secrets that give wheat its remarkable ability for local adaptation -- revealing a previously untapped resource for breeding better, more resilient wheat. […]

  • Scientists create new technology and solve a key puzzle for cellular memory
    on August 16, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    With a new groundbreaking technique, researchers have managed to identify a protein that is responsible for cellular memory being transmitted when cells divide. The finding is crucial for understanding development from one cell to a whole body. […]

  • Mysterious DNA modification important for fly brain
    on August 2, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Scientists have identified a function for a mysterious DNA modification in fruit flies' brain development, which may provide hints to its role in humans. […]

  • Discovery of a major technical error will improve epigenetics research
    on June 25, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    An error in one of the most widely used methods in epigenetics, DIP-seq, can cause misleading results. This may have major significance in the research field, where 'big data' and advanced methods of DNA analysis are used to study vast amounts of data. Correcting for the errors in existing DIP-seq data may lead to new discoveries from previous studies of human epigenetics. […]

  • Structural protein found essential to X chromosome inactivation
    on June 7, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    A research team has identified the essential role of a structural protein in the silencing of the inactive X chromosome, a process that prevents both copies of the same gene from being expressed in female mammals, which carry two copies of the X chromosome. […]

  • How eye loss occurs in blind cavefish
    on May 29, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Loss of eye tissue in blind cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus), which occurs within a few days of their development, happens through epigenetic silencing of eye-related genes, according to a new study. Epigenetic regulation is a process where genes are turned off or on, typically in a reversible or temporary manner. This mechanism differs from genetic mutations, which are permanent changes in the DNA code. […]

  • New insights into malaria parasite
    on May 18, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Scientists have found that various stages of the development of human malaria parasites, including stages involved in malaria transmission, are linked to epigenetic features and how chromatin -- the complex of DNA and proteins within the nucleus -- is organized and structured in these parasites. […]

  • To track environmental impact on genome, don't forget the 'epi' in genetics research
    on April 5, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Scientists call for more integration between two fields of DNA-based research: genetics and epigenetics. […]

  • New way found to defeat HIV latency
    on March 8, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Researchers have found a mechanism for making HIV come out of hiding and become susceptible to anti-HIV drugs. […]

  • New technique offers insights into early life
    on February 22, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    One of the great challenges in biology involves finding ways to study different biological systems in cells simultaneously to understand how they work together to sustain life. In cell biology, studying one system is now relatively easy but, for the first time, a team has found a way to simultaneously study three crucial aspects of cell biology inside the same cell. […]

  • A new, dynamic view of chromatin movements
    on January 18, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    In cells, proteins tightly package the long thread of DNA into pearl necklace-like complexes known as chromatin. Scientists now show for the first time how chromatin moves, answering longstanding questions about how its structure helps regulate gene expression. […]

  • New insight into 'immortal' plant cells
    on December 18, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    A new study has revealed an undiscovered reprogramming mechanism that allows plants to maintain fitness down the generations. […]

  • Corn genetics research exposes mechanism behind traits becoming silent
    on November 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    For more than a century, plant geneticists have been studying maize as a model system to understand the rules governing the inheritance of traits, and a team of researchers recently unveiled a previously unknown mechanism that triggers gene silencing in corn. […]

  • A molecular garbage disposal complex has a role in packing the genome
    on October 10, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    New research has found that the proteasome, an essential protein complex that breaks down proteins in cells, has another unexpected function: directly regulating the packing of DNA in the nucleus. […]

  • Key factor identified in gene silencing
    on August 31, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Scientists have discovered a key role for a protein called RSF1 in silencing genes. Besides the molecular biology details, the researchers also showed that disruption of RSF1 expression in the embryos of African clawed frogs caused severe developmental defects in the tadpoles -- through a dysregulation of mesodermal cell fate specification. […]

  • Epigenetics may explain how Darwin's finches respond to rapid environmental change
    on August 24, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Epigenetics may explain how Darwin’s finches respond to rapid environmental changes, outlines a new report. […]

  • Histone 1, the guardian of genome stability
    on August 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Genomic instability is the main risk factor for tumor development in humans. Therefore understanding its origin and and exploring therapeutic targets is paramount. Histone 1 silences a region of the genome that causes irreparable DNA damage when translated and is lethal for the organism. […]

  • Gene variant activity is surprisingly variable between tissues
    on August 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Every tissue has its own pattern of active alleles, a large-scale study has found. Researchers were able to show that the differential allele activity is regulated by tissue-specific, regulatory DNA elements known as enhancers - a process that could also be involved in many diseases. […]

  • Problems with DNA replication can cause epigenetic changes that may be inherited for several...
    on August 16, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Scientists reveal that a fault in the process that copies DNA during cell division can cause epigenetic changes that may be inherited for up-to five generations. They also identified the cause of these epigenetic changes, which is related to the loss of a molecular mechanism in charge of silencing genes. Their results will change the way we think about the impact of replication stress in cancer and during embryonic development, as well as its inter-generational inheritance. […]

  • Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
    on August 16, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    As corals face threats from ocean warming, a new study uses the latest genetic-sequencing tools to help unravel the relationships between three similar-looking corals. […]

  • Epigenetic drugs show promise as antivirals
    on August 15, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Some epigenetic pharmaceuticals have the potential to be used as broad spectrum antivirals, according to a new study. The study demonstrated that histone methyltransferases EZH2/1 inhibitors, which are being used in cancer clinical trials, have activity against a variety of viruses, including herpes simplex virus (HSV). […]

  • How gene silencing works in plants
    on July 25, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Scientists have recently published a study that means an advance in the knowledge of epigenetic regulation by means of Polycomb-group proteins in plants. […]

  • New way cells turn off genes
    on July 19, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    For some developmental genes one allele must stay silent, otherwise debilitating syndromes and cancers can arise. Scientists have now uncovered a new imprinting mechanism cells use to keep these genes quiet in mice. […]