The epigenome mapped in more than 100 tissues and cell types

A consortium of researchers published a description of 111 epigenetic maps produced as part of the Roadmap Epigenomics Program. A useful tool for understanding epigenetic changes associated with several conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancers or autoimmune disorders. In the body, most of the cells have identical genomes. But the …

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Prenatal Environment and Autism Related Impairment

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication and the presence of restricted or repetitive behaviors. Recent research advances indicate that genetics play a large role in the etiology of ASD1. The presence of de novo copy number variation (CNV), chromosomal deletions …


Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Alcohol consumption during any stage of pregnancy has been shown to result in a range of congenital and cognitive defects, collectively known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Alcohol (EtOH) consumed by the mother is readily able to cross the placenta where it remains trapped in the amniotic fluid resulting …


Of Mice and Men: The Evolution of Cis-Regulatory Elements

DNase Hypersenestive sites (DHSs) are regions within the genome that are susceptible to cleavage by the enzyme DNase I. These regions are susceptible because they lie in uncondensed regions of euchromatin and are readily accessible to the DNase enzyme. In vivo however, these regions are also accessible to regulatory proteins …


Plastics and the Epigenome

In recent years, there has been growing concern regarding the negative effects of compounds found in plastic products. BPA, the most widely publicized, is only one of many compounds, known to be endocrine disruptors, which are used in plastics. Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals has been linked to many diseases …


microRNAs are important players at the intersection of stromal cell differentiation fate

Alessandra Rossini1, Viviana Meraviglia1, Gualtiero Colombo2 1 Center for Biomedicine, European Academy Bozen/Bolzano (EURAC) (affiliated Institute of the University of Lübeck), Bolzano Italy 2 Laboratory of Immunology and Functional Genomics, Centro Cardiologico Monzino IRCCS, Milano, Italy   In a previous work, we have characterized a randomly selected population of adult …


3D Chromatin Organization, Transcription, and Behavior

The chromosomes of differentiated cells contain heterochromatic and euchromatic compartments. Heterochromatin is highly condensed and associated with repressed transcription, whereas in euchromatin  transcription is generally active. Spatial organization of heterochromatin can vary vastly among different differentiated cell types1. In contrast to differentiated cells, embryonic stem cells contain only sparse heterochromatic …

Prenatal exposure to mixtures of xenoestrogens and repetitive element

Prenatal exposure to mixtures of xenoestrogens & repetitive element-DNA methylation changes in human placenta

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) are molecules that are able to interact with the endocrine system of different species, including humans,  leading to hormonal dysregulation and potentially be involved in the occurrence of diseases that are increasing in prevalence such as cancer, childhood obesity, fertility problems and neurobehavioral abnormalities (Diamanti-Kandarakis et …