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?

The Not-Invented-Here syndrome

I have high expectations of natural science researchers. I assume that their studies will improve over time, and develop methods and experiments that produce reliable evidence to inform us of human conditions. My confidence is often unrealistic. Scientists are people, after all, and have the same foibles as the rest of us. I anticipate that … Continue reading The Not-Invented-Here syndrome

The purpose of epigenetic mechanisms

The concluding remarks of this 2018 Chinese review were: “Using heterochromatin as a model, we have reviewed here the mechanisms behind the establishment and maintenance of silent chromatin domains. We conclude that almost every component of the chromatin environment, including DNA elements, RNAs, histones and other chromatin proteins, plays a role in the process of … Continue reading The purpose of epigenetic mechanisms

RNA and neurodegenerative diseases

This 2018 Chinese paper reviewed the associations among long non-coding RNA and four neurodegenerative diseases: “lncRNAs are widely implicated in various physiological and pathological processes, such as epigenetic regulation, cell cycle regulation, cell differentiation regulation, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, through their interactions with chromatin, protein, and other RNAs. Numerous studies have suggested that lncRNAs are … Continue reading RNA and neurodegenerative diseases

Enduring epigenetic memories? Or continuous toxic stimulation?

This 2016 review subject was bacterial infections that result in long-lasting memories: “Virulence factors modify the epigenomic landscape through targeting of host signaling cascades, or chromatin complexes directly. Additionally, some bacterial factors have intrinsic catalytic activity enabling them to directly modify chromatin. Virus, fungi, and parasites also induce similar processes. Epigenomic changes are not the … Continue reading Enduring epigenetic memories? Or continuous toxic stimulation?

Lack of oxygen’s epigenetic effects

This 2016 Finnish review’s subject was the epigenetic effects of hypoxia: “Ever since the Cambrian period, oxygen availability has been in the center of energy metabolism. Hypoxia stabilizes the expression of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor-1α (HIF-1α), which controls the expression of hundreds of survival genes related to enhanced energy metabolism and autophagy. There are several other … Continue reading Lack of oxygen’s epigenetic effects

A followup study of DNA methylation and age

This 2016 Finnish human study was a followup to A study of DNA methylation and age: “At the 2.55-year follow-up, we identified 19 mortality-associated CpG sites that mapped to genes functionally clustering around the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) complex. None of the mortality-associated CpG sites overlapped with the established aging-associated DNAm sites. Our results … Continue reading A followup study of DNA methylation and age

A study of how genetic factors determined diet-induced epigenetic changes

This 2016 California rodent study found: “HF [high fat] diet leads to persistent alterations of chromatin accessibility that are partially mediated by transcription factors and histone post-translational modifications. These chromatin alterations are furthermore strain specific, indicating a genetic component to the response. These results suggest that persistent epigenetic modifications induced by HF diet have the … Continue reading A study of how genetic factors determined diet-induced epigenetic changes

Epigenetics research that was designed to fall one step short of wonderful

This 2015 Edinburgh rodent study found: “In utero exposure of rats to the analgesics indomethacin or acetaminophen, both of which target PG [prostaglandin] pathways, alters fetal germ cell number and development in both male and female fetuses. This results in modest but detrimental effects on F1 [children] female, but not F1 male, fertility in adulthood. … Continue reading Epigenetics research that was designed to fall one step short of wonderful