Tag Archives: epigenetics

Scientists find evidence that cancer can arise from changes in the proteins that package DNA

Scientists find evidence that cancer can arise from changes in the proteins that package DNAMutations in histones, the proteins that shield and package DNA, have been linked to many types of cancer, but their role in promoting disease has not been clear. Now, for the first time, scientists have found that a change to the structure of a histone can trigger a tumor on its own. More »

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C. David Allis receives the 2016 Gruber Genetics Prize

C. David Allis receives the 2016 Gruber Genetics PrizeAllis shares the award with Michael Grunstein of UCLA for identifying the critical role of histones and histone modification in regulating gene activity. The prize is awarded by The Gruber Foundation of Yale University and honors scientists whose work inspires fundamental shifts in knowledge and culture. More »

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In the News – The New Yorker – Allis

Same but Different: How epigenetics can blur the line between nature and nurture   “Allis walked me to his lab, a fluorescent-lit space overlooking the East River, divided by wide, polished-stone benches. A mechanical stirrer, whirring in a corner, clinked … More »

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In the News – The Scientist – Kronauer

Methylation’s Role in Eusocial Insect Behavior Questioned   “‘Discovering that there is no evidence to support methylation as a reason why two ants can behave so differently was, on the one hand, a little sobering,’ said study coauthor Daniel Kronauer … More »

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New findings challenge popular explanation for why a social insect becomes a worker or queen

New findings challenge popular explanation for why a social insect becomes a worker or queenMany scientists have come to believe that DNA methylation, a mode of genetic regulation in which chemical tags turn genes on or off, is involved in determining an insect’s caste. However, a new study of ants finds no evidence to support this role for methylation. More »

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Newly discovered windows of brain plasticity may help with treatment of stress-related disorders

Newly discovered windows of brain plasticity may help with treatment of stress-related disordersEven under repeated stress, the brain maintains the potential to adapt and recover. Researchers have shown how changes in gene expression cause these transitory opportunities to open up. Their results suggest well-timed treatment could change the trajectory of a brain suffering from depression or other disorder. More »

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Study links epigenetic processes to the development of the cerebellar circuitry

Study links epigenetic processes to the development of the cerebellar circuitryResearchers have, for the first time, described the pivotal changes responsible for controlling the formation of the part of the brain that allows us to learn and execute complex movements. These changes involve modifications to chromatin, which is DNA packaged with protein. More »

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In the News – Newsday – O’Donnell

Researchers at Brookhaven lab, Stony Brook and Rockefeller universities make new discoveries about double helix copying   “In Manhattan, Michael O’Donnell, who heads Rockefeller’s Laboratory of DNA Replication, said the finding will change how students understand DNA replication. ‘It’s a … More »

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Study reveals the architecture of the molecular machine that copies DNA

Study reveals the architecture of the molecular machine that copies DNAUntil now, the exact configuration of the replisome, a block of proteins that unzips the DNA helix and creates two duplicate helices, was unknown. After taking the first complete pictures of it, researchers were surprised to find the complex possesses a counterintuitive architecture, raising new questions about its functions. More »

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Promising class of new cancer drugs causes memory loss in mice

Promising class of new cancer drugs causes memory loss in miceNew research shows that a family of experimental cancer drugs can induce neurological changes in mice. The findings underscore the need for more research to determine whether these compounds can enter the brain, where they potentially might cause side effects such as memory loss. More »

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Lifelong learning is made possible by recycling of histones, study says

Lifelong learning is made possible by recycling of histones, study saysResearchers have discovered a new mechanism that helps neurons make new connections with one another, the basis for learning. Their discovery focuses on one particular type of DNA-supporting protein, the histone H3.3, and its role regulating gene expression. More »

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Discovery links shift in metabolism to stem cell renewal

Discovery links shift in metabolism to stem cell renewalNew research links stem cell metabolism with those cells’ decision to pick a fate or renew themselves. In experiments, exposure to a key metabolite called alpha-ketoglutarate enhanced the renewal of mouse embryonic stem cells. More »

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C. David Allis wins the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

C. David Allis wins the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences’Allis is recognized for his foundational research on the unexpected regulation of gene activation by modifications to proteins that package DNA, work with implications for many diseases including cancer. The Breakthrough Prize is worth $3 million, making it the richest prize in the life sciences, roughly double the Nobel Prize. More »

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In the News – Forbes – Allis

Winners announced for the world’s richest science award   “[Dr.] Allis is considered the father of one of the hottest fields in 21st century science. Called epigenetics, it is the study of a phenomenon that 20th century biology said shouldn’t … More »

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Researchers create the first model of the DNA ‘replication fork’

Researchers create the first model of the DNA ‘replication fork’This new tool promises to allow scientists to explore the as-yet-unknown details of how cells unzip the double-stranded DNA molecule and replicate it, a process crucial to life. More »

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David Allis, pioneer in epigenetics, to receive prestigious Japan Prize

Allis’s discovery that chemical “tags” bind to specific sections of histone proteins in order to activate or silence nearby genes has ignited the field of epigenetics, a relatively new area of study which explores the inheritance of physical changes that cannot be traced back to mutations in the DNA sequence. The Japan Prize, worth approximately half a million dollars, is among the most prestigious prizes in science. More »

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Influenza “histone mimic” suppresses antiviral response

Researchers have discovered a novel mechanism by which influenza viruses hijack key regulators of the human body’s normal antiviral response in order to slip by it undetected. The results have major implications for our understanding of the biology of the seasonal influenza virus and suggest a possible target for a new class of antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs. More »

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Experiments decipher key piece of the ‘histone code’ in cell division

The division of one cell into two is one of the most basic processes of life. One of the many tricks involved is the segregation of copied chromosomes to opposite ends of the cell before it divides. New research details for the first time the role of an epigenetic modification to the proteins that package DNA in the fundamental biological phenomenon, known as mitosis. More »

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New science of “epigenetics” advanced by findings reported in Molecular Cell

Scientists have known that some physical changes that are passed on to the next generation can’t be attributed to mutations in DNA alone. Thus a relatively new field of research — epigenetics — has emerged to investigate the inheritance of physical changes that cannot be traced back to mutations in the DNA sequence. More »

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