Epigenetics is the future of science. It has evolved from being a science that very few believed in, to one that will shape medicine as it is known. As the Human Genome Project began, the goal was to determine which genes controlled what phenotypes in a human. After all the genes were identified and mapped, the expression of the genes that the scientists had just discovered was also beginning to be analyzed (EPIGENETICS). Although every gene had been identified and associated with a function, there were genes that if not expressed or not turned on, would create a different scenario. That is, the idea that the genotype of an individual would determine their phenotype was reinforced. Epigenetics however is the study of the switching on or off of the genes responsible for a particular action (Feinberg). For example, all of the organs of a single person have the exact same DNA as the others, yet a lung looks drastically different from a kidney. This is due to the expression of the genes responsible for creating a specific organ. If scientists are able to control the switching on and off of these genes, then many extraordinary possibilities exist.
Some researchers hypothesize that the hippocampus is involved in some types of memory processes but not others. This particular study measured brain activity using fMRI during two types of memory tasks: remember (episodic memory) and know (familiarity). A memory was considered “episodic” if the person could recall the moment it was learned and “familiar” if they felt they recognized the word but could not retrieve the specidic moment it was learned. The a priori (pre-selected) region of interest( ROI) in the hippocampus
The most compelling piece of information that I read from the article "Epigenetics: Its What Turns You On...and Off" (Schardt, 2013) is how children born from the same mother, before gastric bypass surgery and after the surgery, had different patterns of epigenetic marks than their siblings. It would not have crossed my mind that being overweight would actually have an affect on your genes, that could be passed down to your offspring. Researchers have also reported that the gene IGF2 was more turned on in those born to obese fathers, which might increase the risk of becoming overweight in adulthood (Schardt, 2013). So they chances that a child becomes overweight is on both parents and not just one.
According to Rachael Rettner, Epigenetics is defined as, “external modifications to DNA that turn genes on or off. These modifications to DNA do not change the DNA sequence, but instead, they affect how cells read genes.” (Rettner 2013) Epigenetics is thought to possibly have a role in the development of some cancers. Since epigenetics modifies DNA, they can hide a growth, so to speak, or it can play a role in repairing the DNA’s damage. (Rettner 2013) If the changes are in the person’s sperm or egg cells, there is a possibility of that person’s children, or they’re children’s children, getting the modified DNA. (Rettner 2013) In a process called reprogramming, when the sperm and egg combine it allows the fetus to make its own epigenetic changes,
Epigenetics can be defined as a way of turning on and off certain genes in your body, which as evidence has shown, we have a lot more control of than we thought. The video on epigenetics was so great, I did not have a clear idea of what epigenetics was. Watching the video really enlightens how far we have come in research of the human body. I find the advancements that have been made using epigenetics with cancer to be one of the best sections of the thirteen minute video. Just knowing the fact that half of the patients that complied with the research whom had cancer to begin with are now in remission is a great accomplishment. I also found the fact that we have more control over our epigenes, we are to modify our own genes by just following
The park was open the next day and we decided to go again, since we had so much fun yesterday. The only thing I saw as we drove to park the car was the colorful front entrance. I thought about it and how it can relate to the nuclear membrane for the cell. The nuclear membrane controls what goes in and out of the nucleus, and the front entrance controls who goes in and out of the
Life experiences leave indelible epigenetic marks and consequently determine behaviour. Epigenetic mechanisms mediate the long-term effects of experience and exposure on behaviour and mental health. All examples cited above demonstrate that epigenetic modifications play a vital role in nervous system development, function, and gene regulation. These functions require stage specific and orchestrated gene expression for their proper progress. However, diverse studies into the possible role of epigenetics in the nervous system have revealed that they play a pivotal role in even more complex and ununderstood processes including memory and cognition and disorders such as anxiety, depression, trauma, autism and schizophrenia; for this reason epigenetic
Earlier explanations of such manifestations of TTT assumed that they were caused primarily by environmental factors, such as the parents’ child-rearing behavior (Kellermann, 2001). For many years, the prevalent notion was that children who had grown up with traumatized parents had learned to become fearful as well. New research, however, shows that transgenerational effects may be inherited also through epigenetic mechanisms (Ennis, 2014; Harper, 2005; Kellermann, 2013; Thomson, 2015; Yehuda & Bierer, 2009). An increasing number of studies are validating this claim and the term transgenerational epigenetic inheritance - TEI – has been coined to depict it (Choi & Mango, 2014).
One of the hallmark alterations during the carcinogenic process is a profound deregulation the intracellular metabolism and exposure to carcinogenic agents greatly contributes to this deregulation. The proper functioning of many chromatin-modifying enzymes, in particular, and epigenetic processes, in general, depends greatly on cofactors or cosubstrates generated by cellular metabolism. This tightly links a number of intracellular metabolic and epigenome and, therefore, altered intracellular metabolism, especially tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle; Krebs cycle), one carbon, lipid, and iron metabolic pathways, induced by carcinogen exposure can cause a variety of epigenetic abnormalities
Until recently, DNA accounted for a child’s phenotype, and his predisposition for disease and behavior complications (Szyf & Bick, 2012 p. 1). Khan (2010) indicated that epigenetics defied the concept of nature (biology) with the probability of nurture (experiences) (p 259). In this concept, epigenetics is a determinate of how life’s environmental influences affect a child's health and wellness (Szyf & Bick, 2012 p. 1). Combs-Orme (2012) noted, that the effects of epigenetics could present themselves in epigenesis through diet, chemical exposure, stress, poverty and even racism. (p. 1)
You can probably compare the distinction between genetics and epigenetics to the difference between writing a book and reading. Once the book is written, the text (the genes or information stored as DNA) will be the same in all the copies distributed to the public. However, every player of a given book will have a slightly different interpretation of history, which arouse in him feelings and personal projections through the chapters. In a very similar manner, epigenetics would allow several readings of a fixed matrix (the book or genetic code), giving rise to various interpretations, depending on the conditions in which we question this matrice.
Epigenetics is mentioned in less than 3% of comparative physiological papers. Unexplained variation among data has always been seen by scientists. How scientists interpret this data has problems. Confounding variation is a hard problem to control. When reviewing similar articles, the data is seen as mine vs. yours. Variations in results in similar areas of research are attributed to human or systematic error.
Metabolic Enzyme Fueled Molecular Machinery of Memory. Successful Fish Weren't Always Evolutionary Standouts. What can Hunter-Gatherers Teach Us About Human Psychology. Every few months, my inbox is blessed with articles like these, reminding me of the uniqueness of Penn. While their subjects vary, running through these articles are common threads: new perspectives, the integration of outside information, and a commitment to pragmatic application. Over the past few years, these threads have served as guiding tenets, formed from a collection of moments where I explored something new. When it hit me that I could analyze betta fish aggression through the lense of music. When I pondered that maybe the minimum wage should be considered one in
Cellular phenotypes can be ascribed to different patterns of gene expression. Epigenetic mechanisms control the generation of different phenotypes from the same genotype. Thus differentiation is basically a process driven by changes in gene activity during development, often in response to transient factors or environmental stimuli. To keep the specific characteristics of cell types, tissue‐specific gene expression patterns must be transmitted stably from one cell to the daughter cells, also in the absence of the early‐acting determination factors. This heritability of patterns of active and inactive genes is enabled by mechanisms of epigenetic cellular memory that ensures mitotic and sometimes also meiotic transmission of expression patterns .
Organisms are exposed to different kinds of environmental stresses during their life cycle. To cope up with environment assaults, plants and animals undergo some homeostasis alterations during somatic growth and heritable (transgenerational) gene expression modifications. The heritable changes can occur without any changes in base sequences and is commonly known as epigenetics. Molecular mechanisms of epigenetic modification includes DNA methylation, histone modification (methylation, acetylation, uniquitination, phosphorylation, ribosylation, and biotinylation), small RNA mediated regulation and chromatin remodeling (Wagner, 2003; Vanyushin, 2006). All of these mechanisms may be regulated by different environmental stresses. Studies have revealed altered gene expression in plants, in response to stress conditions that can be fixed epigenetically and inherited to next generation, forming epigenetic stress memories.