News tagged with epigenetics

Related topics: genes · gene expression · dna sequences · dna methylation

Epigenetic clock predicts life expectancy

UCLA geneticist Steve Horvath led a team of 65 scientists in seven countries to record age-related changes to human DNA, calculate biological age and estimate a person's lifespan. A higher biological age—regardless of chronological ...

Sep 28, 2016
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The memory of a heart attack is stored in our genes

Both heredity and environmental factors influence our risk of cardiovascular disease. A new study, by researches at Uppsala University, shows now that the memory of a heart attack can be stored in our genes through epigenetic ...

Sep 16, 2016
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Not all tumor cells are equal

A new study led by Dr. Manel Esteller, Director of the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program (PEBC) of Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), ICREA researcher and Professor of Genetics at University of Barcelona ...

Aug 18, 2016
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Epigenetics

In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence – hence the name epi- (Greek: επί- over, above, outer) -genetics. Examples of such changes might be DNA methylation or histone deacetylation, both of which serve to suppress gene expression without altering the sequence of the silenced genes. In 2011, it was demonstrated that the methylation of mRNA has a critical role in human energy homeostasis. This opened the field of RNA epigenetics.

These changes may remain through cell divisions for the remainder of the cell's life and may also last for multiple generations. However, there is no change in the underlying DNA sequence of the organism; instead, non-genetic factors cause the organism's genes to behave (or "express themselves") differently.

One example of epigenetic changes in eukaryotic biology is the process of cellular differentiation. During morphogenesis, totipotent stem cells become the various pluripotent cell lines of the embryo which in turn become fully differentiated cells. In other words, a single fertilized egg cell – the zygote – changes into the many cell types including neurons, muscle cells, epithelium, endothelium of blood vessels etc. as it continues to divide. It does so by activating some genes while inhibiting others.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

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