Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of ovarian disease

This 2018 Washington rodent study investigated ovarian disease in F3 great-granddaughters caused by their F0 great-grandmothers’ exposures to DDT or vinclozolin while pregnant: “Two of the most prevalent ovarian diseases affecting women’s fertility and health are Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). POI is characterized by a marked reduction in the primordial … Continue reading Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of ovarian disease

Reversing epigenetic changes with CRISPR/Cas9

This 2018 Chinese review highlighted areas in which CRISPR/Cas9 technology has, is, and could be applied to rewrite epigenetic changes: “CRISPR/Cas9-mediated epigenome editing holds a great promise for epigenetic studies and therapeutics. It could be used to selectively modify epigenetic marks at a given locus to explore mechanisms of how targeted epigenetic alterations would affect … Continue reading Reversing epigenetic changes with CRISPR/Cas9

Epigenetic factors affecting female rat sexual behavior

This 2018 Baltimore/Montreal rodent study found: “If sexually naïve females have their formative sexually rewarding experiences paired with the same male, they will recognize that male and display mate-guarding behavior towards him in the presence of a female competitor. Female rats that display mate-guarding behavior also show enhanced activation of oxytocin and vasopressin neurons in … Continue reading Epigenetic factors affecting female rat sexual behavior

Going off the rails with the biomarker paradigm

This 2018 US government rodent study used extreme dosages to achieve its directed goals of demonizing nicotine and extolling the biomarker paradigm: “This study examined whether adolescent nicotine exposure alters adult hippocampus-dependent learning, involving persistent changes in hippocampal DNA methylation and if choline, a dietary methyl donor, would reverse and mitigate these alterations. Mice were … Continue reading Going off the rails with the biomarker paradigm

Epigenetic effects of breast cancer treatments

This 2018 UC San Diego review subject was the interplay between breast cancer treatments and their effects on aging: “Although current breast cancer treatments are largely successful in producing cancer remission and extending lifespan, there is concern that these treatments may have long lasting detrimental effects on cancer survivors, in part, through their impact on … Continue reading Epigenetic effects of breast cancer treatments

Epigenetic variations in metabolism

This 2018 German review was comprehensive for its subject, epigenetic control of variation and stochasticity in metabolic disease. I’ll focus on one aspect, phenotypic variation: “Phenotypic [Mendelian] variation can result both from gain- and loss-of-function mutations. Because of the extreme interconnectivity of cell regulatory networks, even at the cellular level, predicting the impact of a … Continue reading Epigenetic variations in metabolism

A study of our evolutionary remnants

This 2018 Michigan human cell study subject was factors affecting the expression of human endogenous retroviruses: “We provide a comprehensive genomic and epigenomic map of the more than 500,000 endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) and fragments that populate the intergenic regions of the human genome. The repressive epigenetic marks associated with the ERVs, particularly long terminal repeats … Continue reading A study of our evolutionary remnants

Starving awakens ancient parasite DNA within us

This 2018 Italian human cell study conducted a series of experiments on the effects of nutrient deprivation: “Reduced food intake, and in particular protein or amino acid (AA) restriction, extends lifespan and healthspan. We have previously shown that, in mammalian cells, deprivation of essential AAs (methionine/cysteine or tyrosine) leads to the transcriptional reactivation of integrated … Continue reading Starving awakens ancient parasite DNA within us

Immune memory of pregnancies

This 2018 Israeli human study subject was natural killer cell epigenetic memory of pregnancies: “Natural killer (NK) cells were first discovered for their ability to kill tumor cells, and later found to also kill pathogen-infected cells. Different tissue-resident subpopulations of human NK cells exist throughout the body, displaying unique phenotypic and functional properties. One of … Continue reading Immune memory of pregnancies

Are there epigenetic causes for sexual orientation and gender identity?

This US 2018 review lead author was a gynecologic oncologist in private practice: “Sexual orientation is biologically conferred in the first trimester of pregnancy. Gender identity is biologically conferred during the middle trimester of pregnancy. Since the genitals differentiate in the first trimester, and the brain becomes imprinted in the latter half of gestation, it … Continue reading Are there epigenetic causes for sexual orientation and gender identity?