Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Cracking the Epigenetic Code

Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Last Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Bookmark and Share
A team of researchers is one step closer to better understanding how organisms function after discovering how epigenetic information is transmitted from one generation of cells to the next.

Lead researcher, Dr David Tremethick from The John Curtin School of Medical Research, said developing a better understanding of these epigenetic processes has significant potential implications for human health, in particular the treatment and prevention of diseases such as cancer.
The findings have been published in a new paper on the Nature Structural & Molecular Biology website today.

Epigenetics is the new frontier of genetic science. Epigenetic mechanisms go beyond DNA-stored information to provide an additional layer of information that controls when and where genes are expressed. It determines which fraction of the 20,000 genes that make up the human genome come into play to ensure the right genes are expressed in the correct cell type. This epigenetic information must be passed down through generations or ‘inherited’ in order for cells to function properly throughout our lives.

“We know cells are regenerating all the time and that epigenetic information must therefore be continually restored, the question is how this actually happens,” Dr Tremethick said.

“Our study focused on this important unanswered question by investigating how epigenetic information is restored following the cellular division of stem cells, which is essential for their renewal.

“Using mouse stem cells as a model system we found that the inheritance of epigenetic information, how information is passed along, was much more dynamic and unstable than we expected.

“From a health perspective, this has both positive and negative consequences. On the one hand, this instability opens up the possibility of information being corrupted as it is passed from cell to cell, causing disease. On the other, it points to the potential of one day being able to intervene in the process to correct corrupted information or stop it being passed on to another generation.

“The next step is to understand how this epigenomic information is naturally altered to allow the proper transition from a stem cell to a lineage-committed cell that occurs during human embryo development. This, in turn, will allow a better understanding of how this inheritance process goes wrong in diseases such as cancer.”

Dr Tremethick said the latest breakthroughs in technology in sequencing DNA has allowed a revolution in the field of epigenetics, in which the John Curtin School of Medical Research has become a major international player.

“We look forward to achieving more positive results from our research program and contributing to global advances in this cutting-edge field of epigenetics,” he said.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
One Step Closer to Precision Medicine for Chronic Lung Disease Sufferers
A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and National Jewish Health, has provided evidence of links between SNPs and known COPD blood protein biomarkers.
Charles River Acquires Agilux
Enhances Charles River’s early-stage capabilities in bioanalytical services.
Scientists Find Lethal Vulnerability in Treatment-Resistant Lung Cancer
The study describes how the drug Selinexor killed lung cancer cells and shrank tumors in mice when used against cancers driven by the aggressive and difficult-to-treat KRAS cancer gene.
How Baby’s Genes Influence Birth Weight And Later Life Disease
The large-scale study could help to target new ways of preventing and treating these diseases.
Genes Underlying Dogs’ Social Ability Revealed
The social ability of dogs is affected by genes that also seem to influence human behaviour, according to a new study from Linköping University in Sweden.
‘Cellbots’ Chase Down Cancer, Deliver Drugs Directly to Tumors
Programmable T cells shown to be versatile, precise, and powerful in lab studies.
Drug to Treat Alcohol Use Disorder Shows Promise Among Drinkers With High Stress
The findings suggest that potential future studies with drugs targeting vasopressin blockade should focus on populations of people with AUD who also report high levels of stress.
C Dots Show Powerful Tumor Killing Effect
Nanoparticles known as Cornell dots, or C dots, have shown great promise as a therapeutic tool in the detection and treatment of cancer.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!