Genetic evidence that humans' "default state" is not solitude

Environment plays a key role in how our genes behave. Now evidence is mounting that our social world is part of that environment, and that interpersonal connection shapes the gene expression in animals from bees to humans. In humans, a lack of social connection can even compromise the immune system. » 9/03/13 5:27pm 9/03/13 5:27pm

How an 1836 Famine Altered the Genes of Children Born Decades Later

Why do some identical twins look so different from each other? Could your eating habits during puberty have an impact on the genetic makeup of your grandkids? These are just two of the startling questions raised by the science of epigenetics, as this "deleted" chapter from David Epstein's book The Sports Gene explains. » 8/26/13 8:00am 8/26/13 8:00am

Is it really true that homosexuality can be explained by epigenetics?

Early last week we told you about a new paper published in the Quarterly Review of Biology which suggests that homosexuality arises on account of epigenetic processes rather than genetic ones (i.e. non-heritable factors that alter the expression of DNA). Not surprisingly, the web exploded in a firestorm of debate,… » 12/20/12 2:30pm 12/20/12 2:30pm

Scientists claim that homosexuality is not genetic — but it arises in…

A team of international researchers has completed a study that suggests we will probably never find a ‘gay gene.' Sexual orientation is not about genetics, say the researchers, it's about epigenetics. This is the process where DNA expression is influenced by any number of external factors in the environment. And in… » 12/11/12 8:00am 12/11/12 8:00am

Stress makes you sick by changing your genes

Most of us are well aware that stress dramatically heightens our susceptibility to contracting illnesses — both physical and psychological. Scientists have known about this link for decades, but have often struggled to describe the actual mechanics involved. But new research from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) is… » 8/20/12 6:45am 8/20/12 6:45am

Head to the gym to shed pieces of your DNA

Do you ever wish you had the power to control your DNA at will? New research says it's possible. Scientists today published findings revealing that methyl groups — which are usually used to suppress gene activity — can be removed from specific regions of your DNA in a matter of minutes. And all it takes is a little… » 3/06/12 12:14pm 3/06/12 12:14pm

Working out during pregnancy could boost your baby's brain defenses

Buff moms make for healthy babies. Exercise during pregnancy has been shown to have numerous benefits for mother and child alike, and now new research suggests that exercising during pregnancy could even protect your child from developing neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease, later in life. » 9/27/11 12:18pm 9/27/11 12:18pm

Use epigenetics to place a long-lasting curse on your enemy's family

There was once a time when witches could place a curse not only on their enemy, but on their enemy's sons and daughters, stretching on into eternity. Then came the era of science, when what happened to people was a combination of chance, determination, and genetics, and no family curses could touch the young. But… » 7/27/11 9:00am 7/27/11 9:00am