Category Archives: Epigenetics


RNA at the Center of Epigenetics

Researchers from Tel Aviv University, Sheba Medical Center, and University of Chicago have discovered a new RNA modification that plays a central role in the regulation of gene expression. The methylation of Adenosine in position 1 occurs on thousands of different transcripts in eukaryotic cells and in 20% of human transcripts. The presence of the […]

3D Map of Human Genome Helps Understand Gene Regulation

Researchers from Whitehead Institute have solved the 3D structure of the human genome in human adult cells and embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Knowing the location of genes and regulatory elements will help to understand gene expression patterns and the influence of nuclear distribution in genetic diseases. The study was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell. Gene […]

Hydra Transforms Epithelium Into Rudimentary Nervous System

The freshwater polyp Hydra can regenerate all its body from just a fragment, and survives after losing all its nervous system. Scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have discovered the mechanism of regeneration: overexpression, in epithelial cells, of genes involved in nervous functions. The results have been published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal […]

Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Are Functionally Equivalent

Researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) have found evidence that embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are functionally equivalent. The scientists compared genetically identical cells of both kinds and found their gene expression was almost equal. The results of the study have been published in the journal Nature Biotechnology. ESCs […]

Placental Cells Obtained Directly from Skin Cells

Scientists from Hebrew University of Jerusalem have obtained functional placental cells from epitelial cells, without passing through a pluripotent state. Mouse skin cell nuclei were reprogrammed in vitro into induced trophoblast stem cells by expressing three genes. The study has been published in the journal Cell Stem Cell. Regenerative medicine is a very promising discipline. Embryonic stem […]

Smokers and Drinkers Are Epigenetically Older

A team of researchers lead by scientists from the University of Iowa have discovered that smoking and drinking accelerates the epigenetic changes associated with aging. The study, presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2015 Annual Meeting, shows that the DNA methylation patterns of smokers and drinkers are coincident with those of aging. Calculating the difference between […]

A Glowing Reporter for DNA Methylation in Single Cells

Researchers at MIT and Whitehead Institute in Cambridge have designed the first reporter for DNA methylation at the level of individual cells. The method allows to follow the methylation process in real time, both in vitro and in vivo, and to track cell fate changes. The study has been published in the journal Cell. DNA methylation is […]

Holocaust Exposure Induced Hereditary Epigenetic Changes

The holocaust experience has caused the survivors´descendents to accumulate epigenetic changes and mental distress like the ones of their parents. Rachel Yehuda´s research team at Mount Sinai, New York, has shown that sufferers of the Holocaust and their descendents share similar methylation patterns at specific genomic sites. Both generations suffer from similar psicological trauma, probably associated to […]