Sex Differences in the zebrafish brain.

Plenty of Fish in the Sea but Only Two Kinds of Brains: Epigenetic Sex differences in Zebrafish Brain

Phenotypic differences between males and females of a species are referred to as sexual dimorphism. Sexual dimorphism manifests not only in morphological traits, but also in physiological and behavioural traits. In organisms that do not have sex chromosomes, males and females are both derived from a nearly identical genome. Such …

sperm epigenetics

Don’t forget all that dad has done for you.. and your epigenome.. this father’s day!

In mammals, the recognition and fusion between the sperm from the father and the oocyte from the mother gives rise to offspring. Therefore, the production of functional, flagella-containing motile sperm is the prerequisite for successful fertilization in nature. In human females, there is typically only one oocyte ovulated during each …


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 …


Using Saliva to Measure the Brain: Translating A Salivary Diagnostic for Fetal Alcohol Exposure

The consumption of any amount of alcohol during pregnancy can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD is an umbrella term covering a wide range of exposures from prenatal alcohol exposure, with the most severe outcome termed Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). However, the spectrum is wide and with no lower …


Early Epigenetic Marks Lay Foundations for a Child’s Future Ability to Learn

The quality of early life environment has been shown to have a long lasting impact on human health1. In humans a poor intrauterine environment has been associated with an increased risk of non-communicable diseases in later life including cardiovascular and obstructive airways diseases, obesity and type 2 diabetes2. But there …


Beyond Genetics: Epigenetics and the Autistic Brain

Autism spectrum disorder (autism for short) describes a heterogeneous set of conditions characterized by problems with social communication, social interaction and repetitive or restrictive behaviors. It effects approximately one in a hundred people and is four times more common in males than females, although it has been suggested that girls …

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Early-life Exposure to Substance Abuse and the Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a chronic non-communicable disease that generally develops after the age of 40 and therefore believed to be associated with aging. There is, however,increasing experimental and epidemiological evidence that risk of T2D and obesity which is an important risk factor for T2D may be epigenetically programmed during critical windows …

Figure 1: Factors involved in impaired male infertility due to reproductive aging.

Paternal Age and Epigenetics

Maternal aging has been shown to cause infertility, pregnancy complications, spontaneous abortion, congenital anomalies, and perinatal complications. However, the impact of paternal ageing on semen quality and reproductive function has still been controversial. To address this, Drs. Sharma, Professor Agarwal and their co-authors have extensively reviewed this conflict in an …