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Chronic pain changes our immune systems

Epigenetics may bring us one step closer to better treatments for chronic pain
Thu, 2016-01-28 06:39

By Cynthia Lee
Newsroom

Chronic pain may reprogram the way genes work in the immune system, according to a new study by McGill University researchers published in the journal Scientific Reports.  

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

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).

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Contact: Ehab Abouheif
Organization: Dept. of Biology
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Contact: Katherine Gombay
Organization: Media Relations Office
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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.

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

Early life adversity affects broad regions of brain DNA

Study provides strong evidence of a biological process that embeds social experience in DNA that affects not just a few genes but entire networks of genes.
Wed, 2012-10-10 12:41

Early life experience results in a broad change in the way our DNA is “epigenetically” chemically marked in the brain by a coat of small chemicals called methyl groups, according to researchers at McGill University. A group of researchers led by Prof. Moshe Szyf, a professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in the Faculty of Medicine, and research scientists at the Douglas Institute have discovered a remarkable similarity in the way the DNA in human brains and the DNA in animal brains respond to early life adversity. The finding suggests an evolutionary conserved mechanism of response to early life adversity affecting a large number of genes in the genome. 

Contact Information

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