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 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

Transgenerational epigenetic effects of maternal obesity during pregnancy

This 2018 Belgian review subject was in part the transgenerational epigenetic effects of maternal obesity during pregnancy. The subject was tailored for the journal in which it appeared, Atherosclerosis, so other transgenerationally inherited epigenetic effects weren’t reviewed: “The transgenerational impact of these alterations in methylation patterns are only shown in animal studies with HFD [high-fat … Continue reading Transgenerational epigenetic effects of maternal obesity during pregnancy

The lack of oxygen’s epigenetic effects on a fetus

This 2018 Loma Linda review subject was gestational hypoxia: “Of all the stresses to which the fetus and newborn infant are subjected, perhaps the most important and clinically relevant is that of hypoxia. This review explores the impact of gestational hypoxia on maternal health and fetal development, and epigenetic mechanisms of developmental plasticity with emphasis … Continue reading The lack of oxygen’s epigenetic effects on a fetus

A self-referencing study of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance

This 2018 Washington rodent study subject was transgenerational epigenetic inheritance caused by a fungicide that’s been phased out or banned for over a decade: “This study was designed to help understand how three different epigenetic processes in sperm are correlated with vinclozolin-induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease. Most DMRs [differential DNA-methylated regions] identified in this … Continue reading A self-referencing study of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance

Resiliency in stress responses

This 2018 US Veterans Administration review subject was resiliency and stress responses: “Neurobiological and behavioral responses to stress are highly variable. Exposure to a similar stressor can lead to heterogeneous outcomes — manifesting psychopathology in one individual, but having minimal effect, or even enhancing resilience, in another. We highlight aspects of stress response modulation related … Continue reading Resiliency in stress responses

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?

Faith-tainted epigenetics

This 2018 Loma Linda review subject was epigenetic interventions for aging: “Epigenomic markers of aging, global DNA hypomethylation and promoter-specific hypermethylation may be engendered by iron and HCys [homocysteine] retention. MiR-29/p53 axis may reverse age-related methylomic shifts, stabilizing both the genome and the epigenome, therefore removing a major risk factor of neurodegeneration. Lowering iron and … Continue reading Faith-tainted epigenetics

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