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epigenetics

Father's lasting influence: Molecular foundations of intergenerational transmission of the paternal environment

Wed, 2015-04-22 13:57
Laval and McGill researchers team up with Health Canada and international researchers from Africa, Italy, Copenhagen and Greenland to investigate the impact of environmental exposures on the hertibale information coded in the fathers sperm and the health of offspring.  The research team includes Professor Sarah Kimmins of the Department of Animal Science and is funded for $1.5 million by the Institute of Aboriginal Health, and the Institute of Gender and Health.
Source Site: /animal

Honey, I shrunk the ants: how environment controls size

Ground breaking epigenetics research has implications for everything from cancer to farming
Wed, 2015-03-11 07:05

Until now scientists have believed that the variations in traits such as our height, skin colour, tendency to gain weight or not, intelligence, tendency to develop certain diseases, etc., all of them traits that exist along a continuum, were a result of both genetic and environmental factors. But they didn’t know how exactly these things worked together. By studying ants, McGill researchers have identified a key mechanism by which environmental (or epigenetic) factors influence the expression of all of these traits, (along with many more).  

Contact Information

Contact: Ehab Abouheif
Organization: Dept. of Biology
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Secondary Contact Information

Contact: Katherine Gombay
Organization: Media Relations Office
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Source Site: /newsroom

Brain development controlled by epigenetic factor

Research into hippocampus has implications for learning and memory
Tue, 2015-03-10 15:30

McGill researchers have discovered, for the first time, the importance of a key epigenetic regulator in the development of the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with learning, memory and neural stem cells. Epigenetic regulators change the way specific genes function without altering their DNA sequence. By working with mutant mice as models, the research team, led by Prof. Xiang-Jiao Yang, of McGill’s Goodman Cancer Center & Department of Medicine, McGill University Health Center, was able to link the importance of a specific epigenetic regulator known as BRPF1 to the healthy development of a region in the hippocampus called the dentate gyrus.

Contact Information

Contact: Xian-Jiao Yang
Organization: Cancer Goodman Centre
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Secondary Contact Information

Contact: Katherine Gombay
Organization: Media Relations Office
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Source Site: /newsroom

Epigenetic study tabs genes linked to allergies, asthma

Findings could provide targets for drugs to treat these conditions
Wed, 2015-02-18 17:46

Researchers from Canada, the UK, Sweden and the US have discovered more than 30 genes that strongly affect an antibody involved in allergies and asthma. Some of the genes could provide targets for drugs to treat those conditions, according to the international team’s study, published online in Nature on Feb. 18.

Contact Information

Contact: Chris Chipello
Organization: Media Relations Office
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Office Phone: 514-398-4201
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Source Site: /newsroom

New funding to boost mental health research

Gift from the Irving Ludmer Family Foundation strengthens unique McGill/Neuro partnership with the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, the Jewish General Hospital
Tue, 2014-10-21 15:11

What if we could reduce rates of a wide range of devastating mental illnesses through early detection? Thanks to a significant gift of $2.9M from the Irving Ludmer Family Foundation to The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University (The Neuro), hope is on the horizon through the expansion of a major collaboration to understand why some children are vulnerable to conditions like autism, attention deficit disorder and social anxiety, and what can be done to prevent these disorders before they take hold. This collaboration will also explore brain disorders in the aging population, such as dementia, in an unprecedented investigation of mental health across the lifespan.

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Source Site: /newsroom

DNA signature found in ice storm babies

Prenatal maternal stress exposure to natural disasters predicts epigenetic profile of offspring
Mon, 2014-09-29 13:34

The number of days an expectant mother was deprived of electricity during Quebec’s Ice Storm (1998) predicts the epigenetic profile of her child, a new study finds.

Contact Information

Contact: Florence Meney
Organization: Douglas Mental Health University Institute
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Office Phone: T. 514-761-6131, ext. 2769

Secondary Contact Information

Contact: Cynthia Lee
Organization: Media Relations Office, McGill University
Office Phone: 514 398-6754
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Source Site: /newsroom

McGill discovery should save wheat farmers millions

Epigenetic factors identified as key to preventing loss of wheat caused by rain and high humidity (and should lead to better beer)
Wed, 2013-10-09 19:21

Contact Information

Contact: Katherine Gombay
Organization: Media Relations Office
Email:
Office Phone: 514 398-2189
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Source Site: /newsroom

Chronic pain alters DNA marking in the brain

Pioneering study reveals association of chronic pain and broad epigenetic changes.
Thu, 2013-02-14 10:25
Injuries that result in chronic pain, such as limb injuries, and those unrelated to the brain are associated with epigenetic changes in the brain which persist months after the injury, according to researchers at McGill University. Epigenetics explores how the environment – including diet, exposure to contaminants and social conditions such as poverty – can have a long-term impact on the activity of our genes.

Contact Information

Contact: Cynthia Lee
Organization: Media Relations, McGill University
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Office Phone: 514-398-6754
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Source Site: /newsroom

How do environments talk to genes?

Thu, 2013-01-10 09:45

A report elucidates the widely recognized, but poorly understood, concept of gene-environment interaction, finding a molecular mechanism in the case of post-traumatic stress disorder: demethylation of a glucocorticoid response element in the stress response regulator FKBP5 that depends on both the risk allele and childhood trauma. [Review on epigenetics and childhood trauma by McGill's Moshe Szyf.]

Read more at Nature Neuroscience

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Source Site: /newsroom

Key funding for ground-breaking epigenetics research

The Government of Canada and Génome Québec awards funding for researchers at the Innovation Centre.
Mon, 2012-10-22 11:50

The McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre will receive generous support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Génome Québec to continue its trailblazing research in the field of epigenetics. The support announced today by the funding partners will go toward examining how environmental factors can alter the expression of our DNA and have life-long effects on human health.

Contact Information

Contact: Cynthia Lee
Organization: Media Relations, McGill University
Email:
Office Phone: 514-398-6754

Secondary Contact Information

Contact: Éva Kammer
Organization: Advisor, Public Relations, Génome Québec
Office Phone: 514-519-6910
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Source Site: /newsroom