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Epigenetics is the study of how non-genetic factors affect genetics. It explores the influence of lifestyle or environmental factors on the activity surrounding our DNA.
Recently researchers have been investigating epigenetics within the context of Parkinson’s, and they have discovered a “master switch” that could represent an important target for future therapeutic treatments for the condition.
The research focuses on a protein called TET2.
In today’s post, we will discuss what epigenetics means, review the new research, and consider what the implications of these new findings could be.
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Not the same. Source: AutismBlog.
Identifical twin studies have been extremely useful to our understanding of conditions like Parkinson’s (Click here to read a previous SoPD post on twins research in Parkinson’s)
But the funny thing about identical twins is that in 100% of cases they aren’t identical.
Yeah sure, they initially share exactly the same DNA, but the further they get away from that magically moment of conception, the less alike they are.
Same DNA, subtle differences. Source: National Geographic
And we’re not talking about personality or likes/dislikes here.
As biological organisms twins diverge significantly after conception and as the age through life. But if they share the same DNA – the same genetic blueprint – how are these difference possible?
The answer to this question may lie in epigenetics.
What is epigenetics?