Non-CpG DNA methylation

This 2017 Korean review compared and contrasted CpG and non-CpG DNA methylation: “Non-CpG methylation is restricted to specific cell types, such as pluripotent stem cells, oocytes, neurons, and glial cells. Accumulation of methylation at non-CpG sites and CpG sites in neurons seems to be involved in development and disease etiology. Non-CpG methylation is established during … Continue reading Non-CpG DNA methylation

A blood plasma aging clock

This 2019 Stanford human study developed an aging clock using blood plasma proteins: “We measured 2,925 plasma proteins from 4,331 young adults to nonagenarians [18 – 95] and developed a novel bioinformatics approach which uncovered profound non-linear alterations in the human plasma proteome with age. Waves of changes in the proteome in the fourth, seventh, … Continue reading A blood plasma aging clock

Using oxytocin receptor gene methylation to pursue an agenda

A pair of 2019 Virginia studies involved human mother/infant subjects: “We show that OXTRm [oxytocin receptor gene DNA methylation] in infancy and its change is predicted by maternal engagement and reflective of behavioral temperament.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6795517 “Epigenetic dynamics in infancy and the impact of maternal engagement” “Infants with higher OXTRm show enhanced responses to anger and … Continue reading Using oxytocin receptor gene methylation to pursue an agenda

A GWAS meta-analysis of two epigenetic clocks

This 2019 UK human study conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of two epigenetic clocks using 13,493 European-ancestry individuals aged between ten and 98 years: “Horvath-EAA, described in previous publications as ‘intrinsic’ epigenetic age acceleration (IEAA), can be interpreted as a measure of cell-intrinsic ageing that exhibits preservation across multiple tissues, appears unrelated to … Continue reading A GWAS meta-analysis of two epigenetic clocks

A strawman argument against epigenetic clocks

This 2019 review of epigenetic clocks by Washington cancer researchers repeatedly returned to an argument for randomness as a cause for aging and disease: “A time-dependent stochastic event process, like epigenetic drift, could lead to cancer formation through the accumulation of random epigenetic alterations that, through chance, eventually alter epigenetic driver gene expression leading to … Continue reading A strawman argument against epigenetic clocks

Do genes or maternal environments shape fetal brains?

This 2019 Singapore human study used Diffusion Tensor Imaging on 5-to-17-day old infants to find: “Our findings showed evidence for region-specific effects of genotype and GxE on individual differences in human fetal development of the hippocampus and amygdala. Gene x Environment models outcompeted models containing genotype or environment only, to best explain the majority of … Continue reading Do genes or maternal environments shape fetal brains?

Developmental disorders and the epigenetic clock

This 2019 UK/Canada/Germany human study investigated thirteen developmental disorders to identify genes that changed aspects of the epigenetic clock: “Sotos syndrome accelerates epigenetic aging [+7.64 years]. Sotos syndrome is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the NSD1 gene, which encodes a histone H3 lysine 36 (H3K36) methyltransferase. This leads to a phenotype which can include: Prenatal and … Continue reading Developmental disorders and the epigenetic clock

Epigenetic clock statistics and methods

This 2018 Chinese study was a series of statistical and methodological counter-arguments to a previous epigenetic clock study finding that: “Only [CpG] sites mapping to the ELOVL2 promoter constitute cell and tissue-type independent aDMPs [age-associated differentially methylated positions].” The study used external data sets and the newer epigenetic clock’s fibroblast data in its analyses to … Continue reading Epigenetic clock statistics and methods

Chronological age by itself is an outdated clinical measurement

This 2018 editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine concerned a clinical trial of an osteoporosis treatment: “When measurement of bone density was first introduced 25 years ago, absolute bone mineral density (g per square centimeter) was considered as too onerous for clinicians to understand. Ultimately, these events led to a treatment gap in … Continue reading Chronological age by itself is an outdated clinical measurement

The epigenetic clock now includes skin

The originator of the 2013 epigenetic clock improved its coverage with this 2018 UCLA human study: “We present a new DNA methylation-based biomarker (based on 391 CpGs) that was developed to accurately measure the age of human fibroblasts, keratinocytes, buccal cells, endothelial cells, skin and blood samples. We also observe strong age correlations in sorted neurons, … Continue reading The epigenetic clock now includes skin