Theme: Epigenetics

Every person is born with a unique set of genes – a unique DNA code – inherited from their parents. However, epigenetic changes – changes on the outside of our DNA – affect how the original genetic code is read and therefore what message is sent out to the cell.

Epigenetic changes can occur throughout our lives as a result of our lifestyle and experiences, and they can make us more susceptible to diseases such as diabetes or cancer. However, unlike genetic mutations, it has been shown that certain epigenetic changes can be reversed using medication or lifestyle changes. There are high hopes in medical research that this new knowledge could be used in both diagnosis and drug development.



Identical twins not identical

In studies of identical twins, researchers from Lund University have identified mechanisms that could be behind the development of type 2 diabetes. This could explain cases where one identical twin develops type 2 diabetes while the other remains healthy. The study involved 14 pairs of identical twins in Sweden and...

Epigenetic changes in DNA could explain type 2 diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes have epigenetic changes in their DNA that healthy individuals do not have. This has been shown in a major survey by researchers at Lund University. The researchers also found a large number of genes that contribute to reduced insulin production because of these epigenetic changes....

The image shows chromosomes from a cancer patient. Read more in Facts.

The cancer detectives

Albert Levan, a researcher at Lund University, was the first to establish how many chromosomes there are in the human genome. It was long believed that there were 48 chromosomes in total, but no one was sure because it was difficult to obtain good microscope slides. In the 1950s, Albert...

Methylation patterns from cancer tumours. Read more in Facts.

Do you know your epigenome?

Every person is born with a unique set of genes that they inherit from their parents. The only exception is identical twins, who are born with identical DNA sequences. With the years, even twins develop increasing differences in appearance and in the diseases they get. Why is this? The answer...