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Search Results for 'methylation'

Image by allthewhile via Flickr It is commonly known that some of us handle stress better than others.  Some can calmly accept the dire economic news of an impending layoff while others may fret incessantly day-in-and-out and endure many a sleepless night.  Why ?  What are some of the brain systems that mediate the effects […]

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THE ultimate guide to your genome … ‘nuf said. The mission of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Project is to enable the scientific and medical communities to interpret the human genome sequence and apply it to understand human biology and improve health. The ENCODE Consortium is integrating multiple technologies and approaches in a collective […]

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DNA methylation is THE key driver of epigenetic regulation.  Where goest CpG methylation, then followest chromatin remodelling … NOT the other way around. “The heritability of genomic methylation patterns clearly shows that once established, DNA methylation is dominant over chromatin modifications.” Some neurodevelopmental processes (here) seem to depend on DNA methylation, but, is this the […]

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Can you imagine uttering that phrase in the future? Yep. “… transgenic mice with increased Setdb1 expression in adult forebrain neurons show antidepressant-like phenotypes in behavioral paradigms for anhedonia, despair and learned helplessness.” SETDB1 is a protein that helps methylate lysine #9 on the histone H3 DNA binding protein … which leads to DNA CpG […]

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Image by DerrickT via Flickr Most cells in your adult body are “terminally differentiated” – meaning that they have developed from stem cells into the final liver, or heart, or muscle or endothelial cell that they were meant to be.  From that point onward, cells are able to “remember” to stay in this final state […]

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Last year I dug a bit into the area of epigenetics (indexed here) and learned that the methylation (CH3) and acetylation (OCCH3) of genomic DNA & histones, respectively, can have dramatic effects on the structure of DNA and its accessibility to transcription factors – and hence – gene expression.  Many of the papers I covered […]

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Some quick sketches that might help put the fast-growing epigenetics and cognitive development literature into context.  Visit the University of Utah’s Epigenetics training site for more background! The genome is just the A,G,T,C bases that encode proteins and other mRNA molecules.  The “epi”genome are various modification to the DNA – such as methylation (at C […]

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We are all familiar with the notion that genes are NOT destiny and that the development of an individual’s mind and body occur in a manner that is sensitive to the environment (e.g. children who eat lots of healthy food grow bigger and stronger than those who have little or no access to food).  In […]

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Image by sludgegulper via Flickr Few events are as hard to understand as the loss of a loved one to suicide – a fatal confluence of factors that are oft scrutinized – but whose analysis can provide little comfort to family and friends.  To me, one frightening and vexing aspect of what is known about […]

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Image via Wikipedia The cognitive and emotional impairments in the autism spectrum disorders can be difficult for parents and siblings to understand and cope with.  Here are some graphics and videos that might assist in understanding how genetic mutations and epigenetic modifications can lead to various forms of social withdrawl commonly observed in the autism […]

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Image via Wikipedia Among mammalian species, moms can have it rough. THEY do the foraging and the child rearing usually without the help of dad who may or may not be prancing about defending his territory or doing who knows what.  The biological systems that manage such a predicament for the female would, not surprisingly, […]

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Cover via Amazon Few may pause on February 12 to note the 200 year anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and 150 years since the publication of  “On the Origin of Species” (click here to download).  To some extent, this may be expected since much of the controversy  (creator vs. autonomous biochemical processes) seems […]

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Image via Wikipedia The “Central Dogma” of molecular biology rightfully points out a somewhat one-way transfer of information from DNA to RNA to protein. This mechanism has obvious implications for evolution insofar as you are issued a newly shuffled genome at birth and must make the best of it – no cheating allowed by receiving […]

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