Hidden hypotheses of epigenetic studies

This 2018 UK review discussed three pre-existing conditions of epigenetic genome-wide association studies: “Genome-wide technology has facilitated epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS), permitting ‘hypothesis-free’ examinations in relation to adversity and/or mental health problems. Results of EWAS are in fact conditional on several a priori hypotheses: EWAS coverage is sufficient for complex psychiatric problems; Peripheral tissue is … Continue reading Hidden hypotheses of epigenetic studies

Restoration of a “normal” epigenetic landscape

This 2018 Texas human review subject was prostate cancer epigenetics: “We comprehensively review the up-to-date roles of epigenetics in the development and progression of prostate cancer. We especially focus on three epigenetic mechanisms: DNA methylation, histone modifications, and noncoding RNAs. We elaborate on current models/theories that explain the necessity of these epigenetic programs in driving … Continue reading Restoration of a “normal” epigenetic landscape

Measuring epigenetic changes at a single-cell level

This 2018 Canadian cell study described the development of a single-cell protocol to: “Profile primitive hematopoietic cells of mouse and human origin to identify epigenetically distinct subpopulations. Deep sampling of the CpG content of individual HSCs allowed for the near complete reconstitution of regulatory states from epigenetically defined subpopulations of HSCs and revealed a high … Continue reading Measuring epigenetic changes at a single-cell level

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

Allergies and epigenetic histone modifications

This 2018 German review provided short summaries of 44 studies on the contribution of histone modifications to allergies. An overall summary of their search results was: “There are at least two levels at which the role of histone modifications is manifested. One is the regulation of cells that contribute to the allergic inflammation (T cells … Continue reading Allergies and epigenetic histone modifications

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 mid-year selection of epigenetic topics

Here are the most popular of the 65 posts I’ve made so far in 2018, starting from the earliest: The pain societies instill into children DNA methylation and childhood adversity Epigenetic mechanisms of muscle memory Sex-specific impacts of childhood trauma Sleep and adult brain neurogenesis This dietary supplement is better for depression symptoms than placebo … Continue reading A mid-year selection of epigenetic topics

Addictive behavior and epigenetic DNA methylation

This 2018 McGill paper reviewed findings from animal and human studies on the relationships between drug-seeking behavior and epigenetic DNA methylation: “Although there is an increasing line of evidence from preclinical models of addiction, there are only a few human studies that systematically assessed DNA methylation in addiction. Most of the studies were done on … Continue reading Addictive behavior and epigenetic DNA methylation

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

A disturbance in the paradigm of child abuse

The principal way science advances is through the principle Einstein expressed as: “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” Members of the scientific community and of the public should be satisfied that the scientific process is working well when hypotheses are discarded due to nonconfirming evidence. … Continue reading A disturbance in the paradigm of child abuse