Epigenetic Link to Recurrent Miscarriage
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseChromatin StructureDevelopmental Biology & Stem Cells

An Epigenetic Link to Recurrent Miscarriage

Miscarriage, or natural loss of a pregnancy, is a common reproductive problem and can be upsetting for families trying to have a child. Recurrent miscarriage (RM) – two or more miscarriages – often occur because of problems that arise very early in embryonic development. A common cause of RM is …

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MicroRNAs Take Down Brain Cancer
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseRegulatory RNA

MicroRNAs Team Up to Take Down Brain Cancer

MicroRNAs are small but powerful molecules in the cell. Containing only around 22 nucleotides, these small RNA molecules are responsible for binding to and silencing messenger RNA sequences before they can be translated into proteins, and thus are incredibly important regulators of gene expression. MicroRNAs (miRs) often regulate the expression …

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Losing Heterochromatin to Determine Cell Fate
Chromatin StructureDevelopmental Biology & Stem Cells

Losing Heterochromatin to Determine Cell Fate

In the moments after fertilization, the tiny mass that is the embryo sets in motion developmental programs that will transform it into a human being. One of the earliest steps in human development is the formation of the germ layers. Humans and other animals in the Chordata phylum, have three …

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Ripening Oranges with Epigenetics
DNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

Ripening Oranges with Epigenetics

Have you ever tried to peel an orange that wasn’t quite ripe yet? The peel sticks to the fruit, coming off in frustratingly small segments. Over the years, scientists have found that many different factors regulate the process of fruit ripening. The most well-known of these are plant hormones like …

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Low HDAC3 Expression Leads to Endometriosis-Linked Infertility
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseHistone Modifications

Low HDAC3 Expression Leads to Endometriosis-Linked Infertility

From fostering the development of new life to literally pushing out a 6 to 10-pound baby, the uterus is a pretty phenomenal organ. Every month it thickens its endometrial cells, the cells that line the inner wall of the uterus, in preparation for implantation of an embryo. But, if implantation …

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Tau on the Epigenome of Alzheimer’s Brains
Aging, Environment, & Disease

Untangling the Role of Tau on the Epigenome of Alzheimer’s Brains

Forgetting where you put your car keys or the address of your aunt’s house is pretty normal, but for people with Alzheimer’s disease, this kind of forgetfulness and memory loss is just the tip of the iceberg. As the neurons in the brains of these patients degenerate, their memory loss …

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How Foreign DNA is Hushed
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseHistone Modifications

Cellular Antivirus: How Foreign DNA is Hushed

Like a computer antivirus, our cells are constantly on the lookout for things that do not belong. Our body’s first line of defense, immune cells, circulate through the bloodstream and attack anything they perceive as different, but what happens when something foreign manages to avoid the immune system long enough …

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Implicating Methylation Variability in Depression
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

Implicating Methylation Variability in Depression

When Scott Kelly touched back down to Earth after nearly a year in space, scientists found that he was no longer strictly identical to his twin brother Mark [1]. While Scott’s DNA sequence was no different from his brother’s, he did have a number of epigenetic changes compared to Mark. …

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