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 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,400+ 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
Releasing Cancer Cells for Better Analysis
A new device developed at the University of Michigan could provide a non-invasive way to monitor the progress of an advanced cancer treatment.
Releasing Cancer Cells for Better Analysis
A new device developed at the University of Michigan could provide a non-invasive way to monitor the progress of an advanced cancer treatment.
Apricot Kernels Pose Risk of Cyanide Poisoning
Eating more than three small raw apricot kernels, or less than half of one large kernel, in a serving can exceed safe levels. Toddlers consuming even one small apricot kernel risk being over the safe level.
Cell Transplant Treats Parkinson’s in Mice
A University of Wisconsin—Madison neuroscientist has inserted a genetic switch into nerve cells so a patient can alter their activity by taking designer drugs that would not affect any other cell.
Understanding Female HIV Transmission
Glowing virus maps points of entry through entire female reproductive tract for first time.
Genetic Markers Influence Addiction
Differences in vulnerability to cocaine addiction and relapse linked to both inherited traits and epigenetics, U-M researchers find.
Lab-on-a-Chip for Detecting Glucose
By integrating microfluidic chips with fiber optic biosensors, researchers in China are creating ultrasensitive lab-on-a-chip devices to detect glucose levels.
A lncRNA Regulates Repair of DNA Breaks in Breast Cancer Cells
Findings give "new insight" into biology of tough-to-treat breast cancer.
COPD Linked to Increased Bacterial Invasion
Persistent inflammation in COPD may result from a defect in the immune system that allows airway bacteria to invade deeper into the lung.
Detection of HPV in First-Void Urine
Similar sensitivity of HPV test on first void urine sample compared to cervical smear.
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
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!