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, …

DNA Methylation and Immune Cell Differentiation
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDevelopmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

DNA Methylation Regulates Differentiation of Naive Immune Cells into Effector Cells

During an adaptive immune response, naive CD8 T cells differentiate into antigen-specific effector cells that release cytotoxic proteins and rapidly proliferate to kill infected cells. When the pathogen has cleared, the majority of effector cells undergo apoptosis while a selected pool becomes memory cells. The differentiation process from naive to …

Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

Want To Lose More Weight With Less Effort? Epigenetics Can Help.

Genetic and lifestyle factors both play important roles in controlling our weight, and epigenetics has recently emerged as a powerful new tool to study the effects of lifestyle on obesity. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate heritable patterns of gene expression without changes in the DNA sequence through numerous processes, including DNA methylation …

fist bump
Developmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and HydroxymethylationImprinting and Inheritance

Yet Another Reason to Thank Dad This Father’s Day! Evidence for Paternally-Inherited Epigenetic Modifications

Maternal health during gestation and prenatal conditions are well documented as having profound effects on health and development of a baby after birth. The mechanisms behind many of these effects are attributed to epigenetic changes that take place in utero. More recently, pre-fertilization maternal health has been also been implicated …

Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and HydroxymethylationHistone Modifications

Put down that water bottle! BPA Exposure Alters Epigenetic Profile in Neurons

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical that is present in many consumer products, including plastic bottles and other food and beverage containers.  Although BPA has been used routinely since the 1960s, exposure to BPA has recently gained a lot of attention due to its proposed effect on brain development. …

Developmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

Starting from Scratch: DNA Methylation Marks Erased Through 5-hmC in Primordial Germ Cells

A growing body of evidence indicates that ancestral environmental factors can influence the physiology and behavior of the offspring, a process known as epigenetic inheritance. However, in each generation the epigenetically inherited modifications are thought to be erased in cells called primordial germ cells (PGCs), the precursors to sperm and …

Epi Beat3
Aging, Environment, & Disease

Written in Blood: A Promising Autism Prediction Model using Expression Profiling

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) encompasses a broad range of social and developmental delays with onset before three years of age. Characteristics of children with ASD include restricted and repetitive behavior, communication deficits, and social impairments. ASD is the result of neurodevelopmental disorders, but genetics cannot fully explain the onset. Although …

Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDevelopmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

All Grown Up: 5-hmC Changes in Human Fetus and Adult Cerebellum

The role of DNA methylation in healthy embryonic and postnatal neurological development has been well established in recent years.  In addition to 5-methylcytosine (5-mC), high levels of 5-hydroxymethylcystosine (5-hmC) have also been detected in brain and other neurological tissue.  Several studies have shown that defects in the ten-eleven translocation (TET) …