Oct 10, 2021 2 mins, 6 secs
The phenomenon, known as transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, caught the public imagination, in part because it seemed to release us from the tyranny of DNA.

A decade on, the case for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in humans has crumbled.

One well documented finding alone seems to present a towering obstacle to it: except in very rare genetic disorders, all epigenetic marks are erased from the genetic material of a human egg and sperm soon after their nuclei fuse during fertilisation.

“The [epigenetic] patterns are established anew in each generation,” says geneticist Bernhard Horsthemke of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.

In the past decade, the threads have become even more tangled, because it turns out that epigenetic marks are themselves largely under genetic control.

Some genes influence the degree to which other genes are annotated – and this shows up in twin studies, where certain epigenetic patterns have been found to be more similar in identical twins that in non-identical ones.

This has led researchers to think of the epigenome less as the language in which the environment commands the genes, and more as a way in which the genes adjust themselves to respond better to an unpredictable environment.

All the aforementioned researchers rue the fact that transgenerational epigenetic inheritance is still what most people think of when they hear the word epigenetics, because the past decade has also seen exciting advances in the field, in terms of the light it has shed on human health and disease.

While Bird and others argue that the epigenome is predominantly under genetic control, some researchers are interested in the trace that certain environmental insults leave there.

Meanwhile, the US-based company Grail – which has just been bought, controversially, by DNA sequencing giant Illumina – has come up with a test for more than 50 cancers that detects altered methylation patterns in DNA circulating freely in the blood.

Science has only scratched the surface of the epigenome, says Flanagan.

Until recently, sequencing the epigenome was a relatively slow and expensive affair.

The US firm Illumina, which leads the global DNA sequencing market, offers a different technique, and chemist Shankar Balasubramanian of the University of Cambridge has said that his company, Cambridge Epigenetix, will soon announce its own epigenetic sequencing technology – one that could add a sixth letter in the form of hydroxymethyl tags

That’s why Ewan Birney who co-directs the European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, and who is a consultant to Oxford Nanopore, says that epigenetic sequencing stands poised to revolutionise science: “We’re opening up an entirely new world.”

1. Rheumatoid arthritis: How it is linked to periodontal disease – symptoms exacerbated - Daily Express
Nov 24, 2021 # health 49 secs
2. YouTuber MrBeast recreates 'Squid Game' with $456,000 top prize - New York Post
Nov 25, 2021 # entertainment 24 secs
3. Space rock alert: Should you worry about an asteroid impact? - Space.com
Nov 27, 2021 # science 2 mins, 3 secs
4. Battlefield 2042 Sniper Rifle Blows Up Tanks Faster Than Rockets - Kotaku
Nov 22, 2021 # technology 36 secs
5. Bowel cancer symptoms: The consistency of your poo could be a telling sign of a tumour - Daily Express
Nov 22, 2021 # health 39 secs
6. 'Encanto' is Disney Animation's 60th film, and critics say it's among the best - CNBC
Nov 24, 2021 # entertainment 1 min, 22 secs
7. 'Maanaadu': A neat entertainer that doesn't disappoint - Greatandhra.com
Nov 27, 2021 # entertainment 56 secs
8. Grab top discounts with these MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Black Friday deals - Macworld
Nov 26, 2021 # technology 52 secs
9. On Most Expensive Thanksgiving in History, Biden Says 'America's Back'
Nov 25, 2021 # breaking 32 secs
10. Bose QC45 too pricey? The QC35 II are half price with this Black Friday headphones deal - What Hi-Fi?
Nov 26, 2021 # technology 36 secs
11. Bulgaria Bus Crash Kills Dozens - The New York Times
Nov 23, 2021 # politics 36 secs
12. Mindy Kaling’s new series and the significance of sex-positive South Asian women
Nov 24, 2021 # breaking 1 min, 27 secs
13. Thursday Night Football: Despite two Josh Allen interceptions, Bills lead Saints 10-0 at halftime - NBC Sports
Nov 26, 2021 # politics 47 secs
14. 'Unacceptable': Mayor Breed says changes will be coming to SF after brazen Union Square robbery - KGO-TV
Nov 21, 2021 # politics 10 secs
15. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2021: Start time, how to watch and stream without cable - CNET
Nov 25, 2021 # entertainment 17 secs
16. See Ice-T and Coco's Daughter Chanel Adorably Teach Her Grandma How to Twerk - E! Online
Nov 27, 2021 # entertainment 39 secs


Get monthly updates and free resources.


© Copyright 2021 365NEWSX - All RIGHTS RESERVED