Epigenetics Research

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

  • 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. […]

  • Epigenetics between the generations: We inherit more than just genes
    on July 17, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    We are more than the sum of our genes. Epigenetic mechanisms modulated by environmental cues such as diet, disease or our lifestyle take a major role in regulating the DNA by switching genes on and off. It has been long debated if epigenetic modifications accumulated throughout the entire life can cross the border of generations and be inherited to children or even grand children. Now researchers show robust evidence that not only the inherited DNA itself but also the inherited epigenetic instructions contribute in regulating gene expression in the offspring. […]

  • First step taken toward epigenetically modified cotton
    on May 31, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Scientists have produced a 'methylome' for domesticated cotton and its wild ancestors, a powerful new tool to guide breeders in creating cotton with better traits based on epigenetic changes. It's an important step towards a new way of improving crops, called epigenetic breeding, say researchers. […]

  • We are more than our DNA: Discovering a new mechanism of epigenetic inheritance
    on April 27, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    The existence of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance has now been demonstrated among Drosophila fruit flies. By temporarily modifying the function of Polycomb Group (PcG) proteins--which play an essential role in development--the researchers obtained fruit fly lines having the same DNA sequence but different eye colors. An example of epigenetic inheritance, this color diversity reflects varying degrees of heritable, but reversible, gene repression by PcG proteins. It is observed in both transgenic and wild-type lines and can be modified by environmental conditions such as ambient temperature. […]

  • Monounsaturated fats help roundworms live longer, researchers say
    on April 5, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Pudgy roundworms storing a particular type of fat live longer than their more svelte counterparts, according to a new study. […]

  • Unique genome architectures after fertilization in single-cell embryos
    on March 29, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Using a newly developed method, researchers have been able to shed light on the complexity of genome reorganization occurring during the first hours after fertilization in the single-cell mammalian embryo. The team of researchers has discovered that the egg and sperm genomes that co-exist in the single-cell embryo or zygote have a unique structure compared to other interphase cells. Understanding this specialized chromatin “ground state” has the potential to provide insights into the yet mysterious process of epigenetic reprogramming to totipotency, the ability to give rise to all cell types. […]

  • Molecular roadmap of human stem cell states
    on March 23, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Researchers have identified a set of molecular 'flags' that are present on the surface of human stem cells. By recognizing the flags, researchers can now accurately track and investigate stem cells as the cells transition between different states. This approach has revealed new insights into the timing and coordination of the changes in gene activity and modifications to the DNA that occur as cells are reprogrammed from one state to another. […]

  • After the epigenome: The epitranscriptome
    on March 22, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    A new article explains that RNA also has its own spelling and grammar, just like DNA. These 'epigenetics of RNA' are called epitranscriptome. […]

  • DNA labels predict mortality
    on March 20, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Methyl labels in the DNA regulate the activity of our genes and, thus, have a great influence on health and disease. Scientists have now revealed that an altered methylation status at only 10 specific sites in the genome can indicate that mortality is increased by up to seven times. Smoking has a particularly unfavorable impact on the methylation status. […]

  • To bloom or not to bloom: That is the question
    on December 19, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    When spring is approaching, how do plants decide that it is time to flower? A team of plant scientists has unravelled a new mechanism to explain this seemingly easy, but actually complicated question. […]

  • Cellular reprogramming slows aging in mice
    on December 15, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Scientists have rolled back time for live mice through systemic cellular reprogramming, according to a new study. In mice carrying a mutation leading to premature aging, reprogramming of chemical marks in the genome, known as epigenetic marks, reduced many signs of aging in the mice and extended their lifespan on average from 18 weeks to 24. […]