After having discussed what epigenetic mechanisms are and how we’ve learnt about what they do, it is now time to look into how epigenetics affect our lives if things do not go the way they are supposed to go.
It is not uncommon for scientists to work irregular hours: starting very early in the morning to have all lab equipment for yourself, and/or continuing until late at night. Next to increased productivity (at least that’s what we think … read on!), what are the other consequences of screwing up your biological clock?
In 1951, cervical tumour cells were taken from Henrietta Lacks and put into culture, to divide endlessly and be distributed across labs all over the world, perhaps to eventually find their way to your incubator: cells known as HeLa cells.
These days, epigenetics is a fast moving field. I don’t remember having learnt about it during my biomedical studies, some 10 years ago. Nowadays, there seems to be no way around it when studying health and disease.This is an easy-to-digest crash course in Epigenetics; What it is, the tools used to study it, how it is regulated and the potential therapeutic targets.
Every once in a while a big case of scientific fraud reaches public attention. Does that mean these well-known cases are exceptions, a few rotten apples…or might the rest of the fruit bowl also be affected?