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Effects of tobacco and alcohol consumption on HPA axis DNA methylation

Meeshanthini V. Dogan & Robert A. Philibert Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Psychiatry, University of Iowa, Iowa City IA 52240 February 5, 2016 Smoking and alcohol consumption are leading preventable causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States and around the world. While the use of these substances have …


Oxytocin Receptor Methylation Associates with Sensitivity to Social Environment

A recent study conducted by researchers at Emory University found that individuals with specific oxytocin receptor methylation patterns – which can help regulate how much oxytocin receptor is made – experience increased symptoms of depression and anxiety when exposed to abuse during childhood.  Oxytocin is a neurohormone vital for social …

Freshen your breath while screening for cancer!

Freshen your breath while screening for cancer: harnessing DNA methylation in mouthwash samples for early detection of oral and pharyngeal cancer

Oral & pharyngeal cancer accounted for an estimated 45,780 new cancer diagnoses and 8,650 deaths in the United States in 20151. The 5-year survival rate is around 60% but, as is the case with most cancers, survival decreases with increasing stage at diagnosis. This is particularly problematic, since about two-thirds …


Racial Differences in Healthy Breast Tissues: genome-wide methylation profiling and gene expression in healthy women

Racial differences in DNA methylation have been shown in breast cancers, but it remains unclear if these differences are present among healthy women. The study of normal tissues is distinguished from breast tumor study because it provides understanding of epigenetic predisposition that influences racial disparities in breast cancers. We performed …


Battle of the Sexes: Autosomal DNA methylation tells us that men and women are more different than we thought

The genetic factors that give rise to the obvious morphological differences between males and females have long been known. Recently however, some less obvious disparities have emerged at the molecular level in the form of sex specific metabolic profiles, where any attempts to attribute these differences to genomic variations in …


Listen Up Dads! Paternal Weight and Obesity Influences Sperm Epigenetics

The obesity epidemic is a widely discussed, but controversial topic. Although diet and exercise are the best way to combat weight gain, some people seem to gain weight easier than others and have a more difficult time getting rid of it. The role of maternal and prenatal nutrition is concretely …


Epigenetics of myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1): CpG methylation profile of the DMPK gene

Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1, Steinert’s disease, OMIM 160900) is the most common form of adult-onset muscular dystrophy in humans, characterized by myotonia (prolonged muscle contractions), muscle weakness, cataract, cardiac disease, gastrointestinal abnormalities, and central nervous system dysfunction.1 The clinical spectrum of DM1 patients is highly variable including congenital and …


Identification of 21 DNA Hypermethylated Hotspots Associated with Breast Cancer Metastasis

Breast cancer is one of the most common diseases in women and almost an eighth of the women population is suffering from breast cancer. Currently, there are several methods to diagnose and treat breast cancer, including genetic screening. In 2013, Angelina Jolie announced that she carried the BRCA1 mutation and …