Tag Archives: epigenetics

Getting your head around huge brain projects

As the ‘thinking’ goes – a billion here, a few billions there and eventually we’ll know how the brain works. The billions are Euros and dollars. The “there” are two projects aimed at learning how the human brain works. Even President Obama got into the act a while ago to mention in the State of […]
Posted in Commentable | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Epigenetics ‘leaks’ into trans-generational inheritance

One of the bigger and most important ‘debates’ in biology – both now and in the past – is whether adaptations made for the environment of a single individual can be inherited by its offspring. This is not about genetic inheritance, mutation, and the reproduction of the genes in DNA. This is about epigenetics, the […]
Posted in News: Epigenetics | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

New sequencing technique opens doors for epigenetics

What’s the difference between 5mC and 5hmC? Yes, the “h” but it is much more than that. Both are in biochemistry shorthand, which unless you’re a geneticist or biochemist you’ve probably never heard of and are not likely to remember. So let’s cut to the chase, oversimplified though it may be: As you almost certainly […]
Posted in News: Epigenetics | Also tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Epigenetics in the brain: Evidence of methylation beyond cell division

Methylation is not a gasoline additive process or nor does it have anything to do with amphetamines. I mention this because methylation is proving to be significant. It is something that happens to your DNA and despite not being very well known by the public, research is showing it to be far more important than […]
Posted in Impact: Epigenetics | Also tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Synthetic biology: Making new proteins with E. coli by adding DNA

Sometimes big advances in science happen without much public notice. That’s often because at the time they didn’t look like big advances in science, or just as likely, they were considered marginally workable, so nobody wanted to highlight them. Here’s one such case to consider: Researchers at Yale University (Connecticut, USA) and publishing in the […]
Posted in Impact: Synthetic Biology | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Epigenetics and methylation: New DNA bases linked to protein

Adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine: These are the nucleobases, or just plain bases of DNA that in pairs called nucleotides carry the genetic code of life. There are four of them, right? At least that’s what most everybody learns. Of course, there is another base, uracil, which is found in RNA where it replaces thymine. […]
Posted in News: Epigenetics | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Part of what makes us human may be what’s missing

Here’s one of those scientific questions that contains a highly suggestive fact: Why is it that the tiny water flea (Daphnia pulex) has a record 31,000 genes and the human – the infinitely more complex human – has only 23,000 genes? Here’s another similar question: How is it that the human species is so different […]
Posted in Impact: Epigenetics | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Reprogramming cells: The post stem cell future?

Sixth in a series of posts inspired by ten topics in ‘Insights of the Decade’ from the December 17, 2010 special issue of Science Magazine The topics are: Inflammation, climatology, tricks of light, alien planets, the microbiome, cell reprogramming, Martian water, the DNA time machine, cosmology and epigenetics. The original articles are now behind a […]
Posted in Impact: Stem Cells | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Hoogsteen base pairs: An alternate structure in DNA

Reverse Hoogsteen base pairing…..Wikipedia Commons I know some of my biases. One of them is knee-jerk skepticism about taking little-tested scientific results and blowing them up to “…a cure for cancer” or “…revolutionize the electronics industry.” However, like most people I also have a bias to be curious about interesting, if somewhat unusual scientific findings. […]
Posted in Impact: DNA Decoding | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

New finding: Noncoding RNA is the agent of gene silencing

This is news about research by Ingrid Grummt and colleagues at the German Cancer Research Center (Heidelberg, Germany) and their progress in discovering how instructions coded in DNA are correctly sequenced (silenced or activated). But first, an analogy: Way way back in the cave-person era of computing (say 1954), a ‘programmer’ would stand at a […]
Posted in News: Cell Biology | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed