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EpiBeat is an epigenetics resource and community for you to stay up-to-date and join the conversation on the rapidly expanding field of epigenetics. Here, you can read and discuss summaries of some of our favorite new epigenetic publications, each presented succinctly so you can keep current with the literature without having to read every paper in detail. It’s a simple way to keep with the beat in epigenetics! We also make it easy to learn more about epigenetics, get tips & tricks from the industry, ask questions about your research and get answers from other scientists. EpiBeat was created for scientists by scientists and is hosted by Zymo Research, The Epigenetics Company.

Kevin B.
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  • March 19, 2014
  • 12:15 PM
  • 88 views

Cigarette Smoking and Epigenetics: DNA Methylation Differences Between Ethnic Groups

by Kevin B. in EpiBeat

Cigarette smoking leads to some of the most preventable causes of death and illness in the world. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States has reported that there are approximately 440,000 deaths due to smoking each year, and an additional 49,000 deaths due to secondhand smoke.  Roughly 600 chemicals are found in ...The post Cigarette Smoking and Epigenetics: DNA Methylation Differences Between Ethnic Groups appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

Elliott HR, Tillin T, McArdle WL, Ho K, Duggirala A, Frayling TM, Davey Smith G, Hughes AD, Chaturvedi N, & Relton CL. (2014) Differences in smoking associated DNA methylation patterns in South Asians and Europeans. Clinical epigenetics, 6(1), 4. PMID: 24485148  

  • March 4, 2014
  • 02:17 PM
  • 87 views

DNA Hydroxymethylation as an Up-and-Coming Epigenetic Biomarker for Liver Cancer

by Angela K. in EpiBeat

Many scientists are hopeful that studying aberrant epigenetic patterns will help us find promising biomarkers for early diagnosis and prognosis of carcinogenesis.  Among such markers, there has recently been heightened interest in 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC), which is an enzymatically-modified form of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC).  A group of researchers in Europe investigated changes in 5-mC as well as ...The post DNA Hydroxymethylation as an Up-and-Coming Epigenetic Biomarker for Liver Cancer........ Read more »

Thomson JP, Hunter JM, Lempiäinen H, Müller A, Terranova R, Moggs JG, & Meehan RR. (2013) Dynamic changes in 5-hydroxymethylation signatures underpin early and late events in drug exposed liver. Nucleic acids research, 41(11), 5639-54. PMID: 23598998  

  • February 21, 2014
  • 05:14 PM
  • 147 views

Somatic Cells Turned Pluripotent by Acid Treatment – Major Breakthrough, Or Too Good To Be True?

by Kevin B. in EpiBeat

The potential use of induced pluripotent stem cells in medicine has the power to completely revolutionize the way physicians treat human diseases.  Imagine the possibility of treating diseased or damaged tissue by taking a patient’s own cells from an unaffected tissue, and turning them into healthy cells to replace the bad ones.  This idea has ...The post Somatic Cells Turned Pluripotent by Acid Treatment – Major Breakthrough, Or Too Good To Be True? appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

Obokata H, Wakayama T, Sasai Y, Kojima K, Vacanti MP, Niwa H, Yamato M, & Vacanti CA. (2014) Stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency. Nature, 505(7485), 641-7. PMID: 24476887  

  • February 19, 2014
  • 01:14 PM
  • 93 views

5-hmC Leading the Pain in Osteoarthritis

by D. Tan in EpiBeat

Over 27 million Americans are estimated to be living with osteoarthritis (OA), a debilitating joint disorder that results from continual loss of cartilage that cushions the bones. OA is accompanied by increased levels of the cytokines Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in cartilage cells called chondrocytes. These cytokines have been shown to ...The post 5-hmC Leading the Pain in Osteoarthritis appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

  • January 23, 2014
  • 06:48 PM
  • 135 views

New Year, New Hay Fever Season, and New Role for Epigenetics in Allergies

by Manuel K. in EpiBeat

Itching of the eyes and nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, and runny nose are some symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis, better known as hay fever or seasonal allergies, which affects ~30% of people worldwide. In a recent PLOS Genetics publication, scientists from Sweden and the US investigated genome-wide DNA methylation and gene expression changes in CD4+ T-cells ...The post New Year, New Hay Fever Season, and New Role for Epigenetics in Allergies appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

  • January 22, 2014
  • 12:32 PM
  • 112 views

Dad’s Deficient Diet Harms His Offspring: Epigenetics To Blame?

by Allison C. in EpiBeat

Doctors have long known that a pregnant woman needs adequate levels of folate (also known as vitamin B9) to help prevent serious birth defects. New research in mice now suggests that a father’s level of folate prior to conception also plays a critical role in the baby’s health, through a process termed epigenetic inheritance. Unlike ...The post Dad’s Deficient Diet Harms His Offspring: Epigenetics To Blame? appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

  • January 13, 2014
  • 03:41 PM
  • 104 views

Wanna Be Forever 21? It May Be Possible By Resetting Your DNA Methylation Age Clock

by Wei G. in EpiBeat

As an organism ages, cells and tissues differentiate and change. These changes can include accumulation of DNA mutations, alterations to telomeres, decay of cellular and tissue structures, and changes in gene expression. Both differentiation of tissues and age effects are at least partially caused by epigenetic modifications of the genome, including DNA methylation, which is ...The post Wanna Be Forever 21? It May Be Possible By Resetting Your DNA Methylation Age Clock appeared first on EpiBeat......... Read more »

  • December 30, 2013
  • 05:08 PM
  • 167 views

DNA Hydroxymethylation and Neuron Development

by Eliza B. in EpiBeat

It has been well known for many years that DNA methylation plays many roles in gene regulation and can direct different cell pathways such as apoptosis, differentiation, cancer, and aging. Although DNA methylation can be extremely stable – able to persist through multiple generations – it can also be quite dynamic and able to change ...The post DNA Hydroxymethylation and Neuron Development appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

Hahn MA, Qiu R, Wu X, Li AX, Zhang H, Wang J, Jui J, Jin SG, Jiang Y, Pfeifer GP.... (2013) Dynamics of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine and chromatin marks in Mammalian neurogenesis. Cell reports, 3(2), 291-300. PMID: 23403289  

  • November 27, 2013
  • 02:25 PM
  • 169 views

Chicken Little Can Blame It On Her Epigenetics!

by Karolyn G. in EpiBeat

While most of us will be hopping on the scale and hoping for a relatively low weight this holiday season, poultry farmers will be weighing their birds hoping for just the opposite. Chickens are the most commonly eaten poultry in the world and those bred for consumption are categorized as fryers, broilers, or roasters. They ...The post Chicken Little Can Blame It On Her Epigenetics! appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

  • November 5, 2013
  • 01:02 PM
  • 186 views

The Same, Only Different: DNA Methylation Dynamics in the Human Genome

by Kevin B. in EpiBeat

DNA methylation is one of the most common, and most studied, epigenetic modifications.  DNA methylation plays a central role in the development and differentiation of mammalian cells, and when DNA methylation is misregulated, it can lead to many different types of human diseases, including cancer and neurological disorders.  DNA methylation, also known as 5-methylcytosine (5-mC), ...The post The Same, Only Different: DNA Methylation Dynamics in the Human Genome appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

Ziller MJ, Gu H, Müller F, Donaghey J, Tsai LT, Kohlbacher O, De Jager PL, Rosen ED, Bennett DA, Bernstein BE.... (2013) Charting a dynamic DNA methylation landscape of the human genome. Nature, 500(7463), 477-81. PMID: 23925113  

  • October 31, 2013
  • 02:33 PM
  • 215 views

Exercise: No Pain, No Gain (in DNA Methylation)

by Keith B. in EpiBeat

Through twin studies and the use of laboratory mice, it is becoming increasingly clear that epigenetic patterns are heavily influenced by the environment. These influences can be either harmful or beneficial to our health. For example, long-term smokers often exhibit characteristic changes in the DNA methylation patterns of key genes thought to play a role ...The post Exercise: No Pain, No Gain (in DNA Methylation) appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

Rönn T, Volkov P, Davegårdh C, Dayeh T, Hall E, Olsson AH, Nilsson E, Tornberg A, Dekker Nitert M, Eriksson KF.... (2013) A six months exercise intervention influences the genome-wide DNA methylation pattern in human adipose tissue. PLoS genetics, 9(6). PMID: 23825961  

  • October 28, 2013
  • 01:07 PM
  • 222 views

Fall is in the Air: DNA Methylation Regulates Seasonal Hormonal Changes in Hamsters.

by Nicole J. in EpiBeat

Ah the fall…the leaves are changing color, you can feel a chill in the air, the days are getting shorter, and your libido is decreasing…wait, what?!?  Well, maybe not in humans, but seasonal changes that affect the length of day, or photoperiod, can have a profound effect on reproductive behavior and hormone expression in seasonal ...The post Fall is in the Air: DNA Methylation Regulates Seasonal Hormonal Changes in Hamsters. appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

Stevenson TJ, & Prendergast BJ. (2013) Reversible DNA methylation regulates seasonal photoperiodic time measurement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(41), 16651-6. PMID: 24067648  

  • October 7, 2013
  • 03:42 PM
  • 186 views

5-Methylcytosine in RNA is More Common and Widespread than Previously Known!

by Michiko S. in EpiBeat

The existence of 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) in nucleic acid has been known for more than 50 years, and the majority of research in the past has focused on 5-mC in DNA. However, 5-mC is also present in RNA and interest in this RNA modification has been increasing in recent years. To date, several roles of the ...The post 5-Methylcytosine in RNA is More Common and Widespread than Previously Known! appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

Squires JE, Patel HR, Nousch M, Sibbritt T, Humphreys DT, Parker BJ, Suter CM, & Preiss T. (2012) Widespread occurrence of 5-methylcytosine in human coding and non-coding RNA. Nucleic acids research, 40(11), 5023-33. PMID: 22344696  

  • October 4, 2013
  • 01:41 PM
  • 269 views

Connecting Epigenetics and Memory to PTSD

by Lam N. in EpiBeat

1 in 5.  That is the statistic for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans that have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to the Department of Veteran Affairs. PTSD is a severe psychological condition that can develop after witnessing traumatic events, and its symptoms include disturbing flashbacks, anxiety, distress, and numbing of the memory ...The post Connecting Epigenetics and Memory to PTSD appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

Rudenko A, Dawlaty MM, Seo J, Cheng AW, Meng J, Le T, Faull KF, Jaenisch R, & Tsai LH. (2013) Tet1 is critical for neuronal activity-regulated gene expression and memory extinction. Neuron, 79(6), 1109-22. PMID: 24050401  

  • September 12, 2013
  • 05:27 PM
  • 226 views

More Methylation in RNA!?! RNA Continues to Surprise…

by Ryan K. in EpiBeat

While DNA methylation is an extensively-studied epigenetic modification, relatively little is known about the methylation of cytosine bases in RNA.  Although the functional consequences of RNA modifications are not clear, RNA molecules are known to be extensively modified.  In fact, there are over 100 reported modifications to RNA, which is even more than are currently ...The post More Methylation in RNA!?! RNA Continues to Surprise… appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

Hussain S, Sajini AA, Blanco S, Dietmann S, Lombard P, Sugimoto Y, Paramor M, Gleeson JG, Odom DT, Ule J.... (2013) NSun2-Mediated Cytosine-5 Methylation of Vault Noncoding RNA Determines Its Processing into Regulatory Small RNAs. Cell reports, 4(2), 255-61. PMID: 23871666  

  • August 28, 2013
  • 04:24 PM
  • 297 views

DNA Methylation Regulates Differentiation of Naive Immune Cells into Effector Cells

by D. Tan in EpiBeat

During an adaptive immune response, naive CD8 T cells differentiate into antigen-specific effector cells that release cytotoxic proteins and rapidly proliferate to kill infected cells. When the pathogen has cleared, the majority of effector cells undergo apoptosis while a selected pool becomes memory cells. The differentiation process from naive to memory cells is known to ...The post DNA Methylation Regulates Differentiation of Naive Immune Cells into Effector Cells appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

Scharer CD, Barwick BG, Youngblood BA, Ahmed R, & Boss JM. (2013) Global DNA Methylation Remodeling Accompanies CD8 T Cell Effector Function. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). PMID: 23956425  

  • August 21, 2013
  • 06:51 PM
  • 255 views

Erasing Breast Cancer: miRNAs and Epigenetic Factors Play Key Roles in Aggressive Breast Cancer Mechanisms

by Adam P. in EpiBeat

Cancer research is perhaps the poster child for the importance of integrating epigenetic analyses into a disease model. As research in the epigenetics of cancer continues to grow, relationships between myriad epigenetic regulators can become quite clear. In a recent study by Pier Paolo Pandolfi and colleagues, epigenetic players including microRNAs (miRNAs), chromatin-modifying enzymes, and ...The post Erasing Breast Cancer: miRNAs and Epigenetic Factors Play Key Roles in Aggressive Breast Cance........ Read more »

  • August 8, 2013
  • 02:31 PM
  • 205 views

Shining a Light on 5-hmC: Direct Labeling and Optical Detection of DNA Hydroxymethylation

by Kevin B. in EpiBeat

DNA hydroxymethylation is a DNA modification that has been known to exist for decades, but its importance to biology and its role as an epigenetic mark have only been appreciated for the past few years.  The presence of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) has been observed in the genomes of many different organisms, and in mammals its levels ...The post Shining a Light on 5-hmC: Direct Labeling and Optical Detection of DNA Hydroxymethylation appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

  • July 22, 2013
  • 07:59 PM
  • 277 views

An Apple a Day Keeps the DNA Methylation Away! Vitamin C and DNA Demethylation in Mouse ES Cells

by Manuel K. in EpiBeat

DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is essential for normal development and also plays important roles in diverse cellular functions, such as genomic imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation, suppression of repetitive DNA elements, carcinogenesis, and other human diseases. In the last few years, scientists have focused on better understanding the process of active DNA demethylation in ...The post An Apple a Day Keeps the DNA Methylation Away! Vitamin C and DNA Demethylation in Mouse........ Read more »

Blaschke K, Ebata KT, Karimi MM, Zepeda-Martínez JA, Goyal P, Mahapatra S, Tam A, Laird DJ, Hirst M, Rao A.... (2013) Vitamin C induces Tet-dependent DNA demethylation and a blastocyst-like state in ES cells. Nature. PMID: 23812591  

  • July 3, 2013
  • 04:06 PM
  • 237 views

Mysterious Mechanism of Multiple Myeloma Explained by Epigenetics

by Ron L. in EpiBeat

If you are trying to understand an enemy so you can battle them more effectively, it is usually best to know as much as you can about them, including where they are attacking from.  A timely example, considering the upcoming Independence Day holiday on the 4th of July, is the famous case of Paul Revere’s ...The post Mysterious Mechanism of Multiple Myeloma Explained by Epigenetics appeared first on EpiBeat.... Read more »

Vicente-Dueñas C, Romero-Camarero I, González-Herrero I, Alonso-Escudero E, Abollo-Jiménez F, Jiang X, Gutierrez NC, Orfao A, Marín N, Villar LM.... (2012) A novel molecular mechanism involved in multiple myeloma development revealed by targeting MafB to haematopoietic progenitors. The EMBO journal, 31(18), 3704-17. PMID: 22903061  

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