RNA methylation, stem cell differentiation, and RNA stability
Developmental Biology & Stem CellsRegulatory RNA

RNA Methylation: The Next Big Thing in Stem Cell Differentiation and RNA Stability

While DNA methylation is probably the longest studied and best understood epigenetic modification, methylation of RNA is gaining increased appreciation, especially recently.  N6-methyladenosine (m6A) in RNA has been observed to be the most frequently occurring epigenetic modification in mRNAs in eukaryotic organisms, but the function of this modification is still …

Epigenetics, DNA hydroxymethylation, and liver cancer
Developmental Biology & Stem CellsTools & Technology

Somatic Cells Turned Pluripotent by Acid Treatment – Major Breakthrough, Or Too Good To Be True?

The potential use of induced pluripotent stem cells in medicine has the power to completely revolutionize the way physicians treat human diseases.  Imagine the possibility of treating diseased or damaged tissue by taking a patient’s own cells from an unaffected tissue, and turning them into healthy cells to replace the …

DNA Methylation and HydroxymethylationTools & Technology

Guide to Bisulfite Conversion Kit Selection

Bisulfite conversion remains one of the most powerful and popular methods available to study cytosine methylation in DNA (also known as 5-methylcytosine or 5-mC), and it is widely considered to be the “Gold Standard” for investigating DNA methylation.  To learn more about how the bisulfite conversion process works, check out …

DNA methylation dynamics
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDevelopmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

The Same, Only Different: DNA Methylation Dynamics in the Human Genome

DNA methylation is one of the most common, and most studied, epigenetic modifications.  DNA methylation plays a central role in the development and differentiation of mammalian cells, and when DNA methylation is misregulated, it can lead to many different types of human diseases, including cancer and neurological disorders.  DNA methylation, …

RNA methylation kit
Regulatory RNATools & Technology

New Kit Available to Study RNA Methylation

While the presence of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) in RNA has been known for some time, the lack of methods available to study this epigenetic modification has made it challenging to elucidate its function. However, the new EZ RNA Methylation Kit from Zymo Research changes everything.  The EZ RNA Methylation Kit is …

dna hydroxymethylation
DNA Methylation and HydroxymethylationTools & Technology

Shining a Light on 5-hmC: Direct Labeling and Optical Detection of DNA Hydroxymethylation

DNA hydroxymethylation is a DNA modification that has been known to exist for decades, but its importance to biology and its role as an epigenetic mark have only been appreciated for the past few years.  The presence of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) has been observed in the genomes of many different organisms, …

Chromatin StructureHistone ModificationsTools & Technology

AACR Special Conference on Chromatin and Epigenetics in Cancer

The advancements in Next-Generation sequencing technology have recently helped researchers uncover the importance of epigenetic modifying enzymes in many human cancers.  Numerous different cancer cells contain mutations in genes that encode histone-modifying enzymes and chromatin-remodeling factors, leading scientists and doctors to conclude that misregulated epigenetic processes are of central importance …

Tools & Technology

Supreme Court Rules that Genes Cannot Be Patented

This is an exciting day for molecular biologists—with this discipline featured front and center in the recent Supreme Court ruling on gene patenting.   This past April, EpiBeat posted a summary that described the Supreme Court case to determine whether genes can be patented.  Today, the Supreme Court of the United …