Autism Awareness Month
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

April is Autism Awareness Month: Increased levels of 5-hmC may influence gene regulation in Autism Spectrum Disorder

The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased by roughly 30% since 2012. The CDC recently reported that one in 68 children in the United States is affected by ASD, compared to one in 88 just two years ago. This enhanced occurrence could be attributed to advancements in the …

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Epigenetics, DNA hydroxymethylation, and liver cancer
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

DNA Hydroxymethylation as an Up-and-Coming Epigenetic Biomarker for Liver Cancer

Many scientists are hopeful that studying aberrant epigenetic patterns will help us find promising biomarkers for early diagnosis and prognosis of carcinogenesis.  Among such markers, there has recently been heightened interest in 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC), which is an enzymatically-modified form of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC).  A group of researchers in Europe investigated changes …

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Epigenetics, 5-hmC, and osteoarthritis
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

5-hmC Leading the Pain in Osteoarthritis

Over 27 million Americans are estimated to be living with osteoarthritis (OA), a debilitating joint disorder that results from continual loss of cartilage that cushions the bones. OA is accompanied by increased levels of the cytokines Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in cartilage cells called chondrocytes. These …

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DNA hydroxymethylation and neuron development
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDevelopmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

DNA Hydroxymethylation and Neuron Development

It has been well known for many years that DNA methylation plays many roles in gene regulation and can direct different cell pathways such as apoptosis, differentiation, cancer, and aging. Although DNA methylation can be extremely stable – able to persist through multiple generations – it can also be quite …

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Epigenetics and PTSD
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

Connecting Epigenetics and Memory to PTSD

1 in 5.  That is the statistic for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans that have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to the Department of Veteran Affairs. PTSD is a severe psychological condition that can develop after witnessing traumatic events, and its symptoms include disturbing flashbacks, anxiety, distress, …

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Erasing Breast Cancer
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDNA Methylation and HydroxymethylationRegulatory RNA

Erasing Breast Cancer: miRNAs and Epigenetic Factors Play Key Roles in Aggressive Breast Cancer Mechanisms

Cancer research is perhaps the poster child for the importance of integrating epigenetic analyses into a disease model. As research in the epigenetics of cancer continues to grow, relationships between myriad epigenetic regulators can become quite clear. In a recent study by Pier Paolo Pandolfi and colleagues, epigenetic players including …

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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, …

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5-hmC apple
Aging, Environment, & DiseaseDevelopmental Biology & Stem CellsDNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation

An Apple a Day Keeps the DNA Methylation Away! Vitamin C and DNA Demethylation in Mouse ES Cells

DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is essential for normal development and also plays important roles in diverse cellular functions, such as genomic imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation, suppression of repetitive DNA elements, carcinogenesis, and other human diseases. In the last few years, scientists have focused on better understanding the process …

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