Does a societal mandate cause DNA methylation?

This 2017 worldwide meta-analysis of humans of recent European ancestry found: “Here we provide evidence on the associations between epigenetic modifications-in our case, CpG methylation and educational attainment (EA), a biologically distal environmental factor that is arguably among the most important life-shaping experiences for individuals. Specifically, we report the results of an epigenome-wide association study [EWAS] … Continue reading Does a societal mandate cause DNA methylation?

Epigenetic effects on genetic diseases

This 2017 review provided evidence for epigenetic effects on a disease widely considered to be of genetic origins: “..for a T1D [type 1 diabetes] identical twin the concordance rate (both twins affected)..is consistently less than 100%, which implies a non-genetically determined effect. However, the concordance rate declines with age at diagnosis of the index twin, … Continue reading Epigenetic effects on genetic diseases

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 skin study that could have benefited from preregistration

This 2016 German human skin study found: “An age-related erosion of DNA methylation patterns that is characterized by a reduced dynamic range and increased heterogeneity of global methylation patterns. These changes in methylation variability were accompanied by a reduced connectivity of transcriptional networks.” The study could have benefited from preregistration using an approach such as … Continue reading A skin study that could have benefited from preregistration

Gene therapy by DNA methylation using CRISPR-Cas9

This 2016 Croatian human cell study was a proof-of-concept to induce specific DNA methylation of two genes: “In this work we have created and characterized a novel CRISPR-Cas9-based epigenome editing tool, the dCas9-DNMT3A, which enabled targeted and specific CpG methylation at the promoter of two loci, the BACH2 and the IL6ST. We have demonstrated the … Continue reading Gene therapy by DNA methylation using CRISPR-Cas9

Using an epigenetic clock with children

This 2015 UK human study by many of the coauthors of What’s the origin of the problem of being fat? applied the Horvath epigenetic clock method to the same UK mother-child pairs and a Danish cohort: “There has been no investigation on prenatal and antenatal factors that affect AA [age acceleration] in children. It is … Continue reading Using an epigenetic clock with children

What’s the origin of the problem of being fat?

This 2016 UK human study attempted to replicate the DNA methylation and adiposity associations found by studies on a long-term longitudinal UK cohort: “We tested for replication of associations between previously identified CpG sites at HIF3A [the hypoxia inducible factor 3 alpha subunit gene] and adiposity in ∼1,000 mother-offspring pairs from the Avon Longitudinal Study … Continue reading What’s the origin of the problem of being fat?

Epigenetic effects of diet, and reversing DNA methylation

This 2015 French review focused on: “The role of maternal health and nutrition in the initiation and progression of metabolic and other disorders. The effects of various in utero exposures and maternal nutritional status may have different effects on the epigenome. However, critical windows of exposure that seem to exist during development need to be … Continue reading Epigenetic effects of diet, and reversing DNA methylation

A problematic study of oxytocin receptor gene methylation, childhood abuse, and psychiatric symptoms

This 2016 Georgia human study found: “A role for OXTR [oxytocin receptor gene] in understanding the influence of early environments on adult psychiatric symptoms. Data on 18 OXTR CpG sites, 44 single nucleotide polymorphisms, childhood abuse, and adult depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed in 393 African American adults. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), a … Continue reading A problematic study of oxytocin receptor gene methylation, childhood abuse, and psychiatric symptoms

Early-life epigenetic regulation of the oxytocin receptor gene

This 2015 US/Canadian rodent study investigated the effects of natural variation in maternal care: “The effects of early life rearing experience via natural variation in maternal licking and grooming during the first week of life on behavior, physiology, gene expression, and epigenetic regulation of Oxtr [oxytocin receptor gene] across blood and brain tissues (mononucleocytes, hippocampus, … Continue reading Early-life epigenetic regulation of the oxytocin receptor gene