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Articles on Epigenetics

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Epigenetics is how behavior and environment affect gene expression. Iryna Dobytchina/iStock via Getty Images Plus

ALS is only 50% genetic – identifying DNA regions affected by lifestyle and environmental risk factors could help pinpoint avenues for treatment

Genetic modifications to DNA regions involved in metabolism, cholesterol and immunity may play a role in ALS disease progression.
Environmentally dangerous dumps, landfills and pulp and paper mills are more likely to be sited in African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaw communities. These communities suffer from high rates of cancer and respiratory illness. (Shutterstock)

Environmental racism: New study investigates whether Nova Scotia dump boosted cancer rates in nearby Black community

Black residents of Shelburne, N.S., spent decades living near a dump, worrying about its possible connection to elevated cancer rates. A new study will investigate the dump’s long-term consequences.
Stressors put on children and adolescents as a result of the pandemic response may have long-lasting effects on their health and well-being. (Shutterstock)

The long-term biological effects of COVID-19 stress on kids’ future health and development

The pandemic response has put the long-term health and well-being of children and adolescents at risk, with the possibility of seismic shifts in population health if we do not act.
Epigenetic clocks are a fascinating new technology, but some potential applications are controversial. (Pixabay/Stefan Keller)

New DNA test that reveals a child’s true age has promise, but ethical pitfalls

Pediatric epigenetic clocks have the potential to accurately assess biological age. However, possible applications in law enforcement and immigration raise ethical issues.
The male bluehead wrasse defends his group of yellow females, one of whom has to step-up and take charge if he leaves. Kevin Bryant

What we learn from a fish that can change sex in just 10 days

When a male bluehead wrasse is removed from the group he dominates, the largest female changes sex, rapidly transforming ovaries into sperm-producing testes. Molecular research shows how.

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