The Active Motif Epigenetics Blog

Welcome to the Active Motif blog – your source for updates on the latest epigenetics news, cutting-edge epigenomics research, and hottest applications of epigenetic techniques. Stay up-to-date with what’s new in DNA methylation, chromatin, histone modification, and gene regulation research.

Discussing the Past, Present, and Future of Epigenetics with Active Motif Founder Joe Fernandez

Active Motif Joe Fernandez

September 13, 2019
Joe Fernandez, Active Motif’s founder, played a significant role in the evolution of the biotech industry. He’s seen where the industry has been, and has a good idea where it’s going. Joe opens up about how he got started in science, what excites him, and what the next big thing in epigenetics will be.

Next-Gen ChIP-Seq: Genome-Wide Single-Cell Analysis with Antibody-Guided Chromatin Tagmentation Methods

Antibody-guided tagmentation

September 5, 2019
New methods are improving the efficiency of epigenomic analysis, enabling analysis of histone modifications at the single-cell level. Many of these methods are variations on Active Motif’s patented TAM-ChIP™ technology, which utilizes antibody-guided tagmentation.

How Do Nucleosomes at Centromeres Differ from Nucleosomes at Other Chromatin Regions?


September 4, 2019
Centromeres play essential roles during the cell cycle, but how centromeric nucleosomes and other proteins work together during mitosis is not completely understood. Recent research using cryo-EM sheds light on this critical process.

Using RIME to Analyze Protein-Protein Interactions on Chromatin

RIME protein-protein interactions

September 3, 2019
There are many methods for detecting protein-protein interactions. The RIME protocol is gaining popularity because of its unique advantages over the other methods. This article covers what RIME is and how it works, and provides tips to researchers that want to get started with RIME.

New Research on the Link Between Chromosome Topology and Regulation of Gene Expression

Chromosome topology and regulation o fgene epxression

August 22, 2019
The link between nucleosome organization (and epigenetic modifications of histones) and gene expression is solidly established, but the functions of higher-order chromatin structures are still not completely understood. This article covers the latest research in this area.

RNA Methylation Contributes to mRNA Mobility and Root Growth in Plants

RNA methylation in plants

August 6, 2019
RNA mobility in plants, which involves the transport of RNA to different plant tissues, is a phenomenon that has been known to exist for years. However, the mechanism involved, and the biological roles of this activity are not fully understood. RNA methylation might be the answer.

Discussing X Chromosome Dosage Compensation in Drosophila & Mammals with Professor Asifa Akhtar

Dosage compensation in Drosophila

July 30, 2019
The male-specific lethal (MSL) complex, and the histone acetyltransferase MOF in particular, contributes to regulation of the X chromosome dosage compensation process in flies and also has important roles regulating gene expression in humans. Learn about the latest research in this field from expert Asifa Akhtar.

The Roles of RNA Epigenetics & RNA Processing in Embryonic Development

RNA epigenetics and embryo development

July 26, 2019
Early events in embryonic development involve many different mechanisms, including epigenetic changes and post-transcriptional activities such as mRNA processing and modifications. A recent paper investigated the roles of m6A and the RNA-binding protein hnRNPA2/B1 in this process.

Complete Guide to Understanding and Using ATAC-Seq


July 25, 2019
The ATAC-Seq method was just published in 2013 and it has already become one of the most common and powerful ways to study chromatin states on a genome-wide level. This article covers what ATAC-Seq is and how to use it in your research.

Epigenetic Enhancer Regulation Contributes to the Autoimmune Disease Scleroderma

Scleroderma hands

July 8, 2019
Scleroderma (also known as systemic sclerosis, or SSc) is a rare but aggressive autoimmune disease. ~35% of patients with SSc die within 10 years of their diagnosis, there is no cure. A recent paper linked epigenetics and SSc, providing hope that epigenetic drugs might be improve its treatment.

Epigenetic Control of Embyro Pluripotency & Zygotic Genome Activation

Zygotic genome activation

July 2, 2019
Have you ever thought about how all the cells in your body started out as a single fertilized embryo cell that developed into all of the different cell types present in your body today? A process called zygotic genome activation allows this to happen, and we’re learning more about how epigenetics is involved.

Discussing Spatial Organization of the Human Genome with Professor Wendy Bickmore

Wendy Bickmore spatial organization of the genome

June 24, 2019
The spatial organization of the human genome within the nucleus plays important roles in the regulation of gene expression and other cellular processes. We caught up with expert Wendy Bickmore to discuss topological associating domains (TADs) and their role in enhancer-promoter interactions, epigenetic modifications to the globular domains of histones, how nuclear pores deserve more attention, and much more.

What Can Histone Methylation Patterns in Kidney Cancer Teach Us About Disease Progression & New Treatments Options?

Kidney cancer epigenetics

June 19, 2019
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is one of the 10 most common cancers in both men and women in the United States and existing treatments are often not effective. New epigenetic drugs might be the answer.

Complete Guide to Using Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing (RRBS) for Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Analysis

RRBS DNA methylation

June 14, 2019
The RRBS method was first published in 2005, in the early days of NGS when sequencing was still expensive, as a way to get genome-wide single-nucleotide DNA methylation analysis for lower cost that whole genome bisulfite sequencing. This article covers what RRBS is and why it’s still a powerful method to study 5-mC.

New Genomics-Based Personalized Colorectal Cancer Treatments

Colorectal cancer

June 4, 2019
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common and most deadly types of cancer in the United States, but the available treatments do not work well for many patients, highlighting the need for new therapeutic approaches. New research suggests that personalized treatments for CRC might be coming soon!

New Research Suggests that Alzheimer’s Disease Proteins Are Prions

Alzheimer's disease and prions

May 31, 2019
Recent estimates suggest that nearly 6 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the US, making it the 6th leading cause of death. New research suggests that AD might actually be caused by prions, completely changing the way we think about this serious disease.

Discussing Heterochromatin & Phase Separation with Dr. Gary Karpen

Gary Karpen Heterochromatin

May 28, 2019
How much do you know about heterochromatin? We caught up with heterochromatin expert Gary Karpen to discuss repressive histone marks, whether heterochromatin is really inaccessible to other proteins, phase separation, and much more.

How Epigenetics & RNA Can Help Save the Honey Bees

Honey bees, epigenetics, and RNAi

May 24, 2019
Honey bee populations worldwide are declining drastically, but a new study sheds light on how a transmissible RNAi pathway might be able to help honey bees become more resistant to pathogens and other threats.

H3Q5Ser & Happy Histones, New BRD Tools, ssChIC-Seq, Medusavirus Histones, & More Epigenetics News

Diabetes and epigenetics

May 7, 2019
This latest epigenetics news summary covers histone serotonylation, using epigenetics to improve prediction of the outcomes of premature infants, new tools to study bromodomain proteins, single-cell chromatin analysis with a new method called ssChIC-Seq, and the discovery of a large DNA virus that encodes its own histones.

Discussing Diabetes & Epigenetics with Dr. Jean-Sébastien Annicotte

Diabetes and epigenetics

April 11, 2019
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that affects almost 400 million people worldwide, which is >8% of the global population. We recently caught up with Dr. Jean-Sébastien Annicotte to discuss the role of epigenetics in diabetes and obesity.

Oncohistones, Gene Regulation by CpG Islands, and Epigenetics of Memory

Epigenetics News | Active Motif

April 2, 2019
This latest epigenetics news summary covers “oncohistones” and the role histone mutations play in cancer, new research that decouples the contributions of CpG density and DNA methylation status on the regulation of gene expression, and the epigenetic mechanisms involved in the stable maintenance of “memories” in yeast.

Guide to Generating the Best ChIP Data

Best ChIP results

March 15, 2019
The chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay has become one of the most popular laboratory techniques to investigate the association of DNA-binding proteins and histones with chromatin. This article covers the major challenges of ChIP assays and how to overcome them to generate the best ChIP data.

Multiplex Single-Molecule Resolution Epigenetic Analysis with ChIA-Drop & More Epigenetics News

Epigenetics News | Active Motif

March 1, 2019
This summary of the latest epigenetics news covers ChIA-Drop, a new method for investigating chromatin interactions with single-molecule precision, a role for DNA methylation in coronary artery disease, and an epigenomic study that identified DNA sequence motifs associated with histone modifications.

Targeting Epigenetic Enzymes for Drug Discovery & Development

Epigenetic Drug Discovery

February 22, 2019
Epigenetic targets are some of the most promising classes of druggable targets to emerge in a decade. These targets are relevant to almost every field of research and disease area. This article highlights the commonly-studied classes of proteins and enzymes in epigenetic drug discovery.

Total Epigenome of the Heart

Heart DNA

February 12, 2019
Valentine's Day is all about love and hearts. Just like love, heart tissue is complex. Also like love, in epigenomics it's important to focus on the details, the small stuff. It’s difficult to analyze the epigenome of small numbers of cells isolated from tissues, but this type of study is important to really understand many diseases. This article highlights how researchers analyzed small numbers of cardiomyocyte cells from heart tissue to characterize the epigenetic changes that accompany aging and heart failure.

Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

February 11, 2019
February 11th is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Active Motif is celebrating this important day by highlighting some advice from some of our female colleagues and contributing to the awareness for the increasing problem that fewer children, and girls in particular, are pursuing careers in science.

The Role of DNA Methylation in Asthma and More Epigenetics News

Epigenetics News | Active Motif

February 4, 2019
This summary of the latest epigenetics news covers a role for DNA methylation in asthma, a new high-resolution map of human genetic variation and the role of epigenetics in mutation hot spots, and a high-throughput analysis of long non-coding RNA regulation in different tissues.

The San Diego Chromatin Club is Bringing Local Epigenetics Experts Together

San Diego Chromatin Club

January 30, 2019
The San Diego Chromatin Club is a seminar series that brings together epigenetics researchers from all over the Greater San Diego Area. This scientific event fosters communication and collaborations between leading researchers, and best of all Active Motif sponsors the event and provides the pizza, sodas, and beer! Check out this summary of the most recent Chromatin Club meeting.

Top Epigenetics Breakthroughs of 2018

Scientist reading about epigenetics.

January 25, 2019
2018 has come and gone, but before we focus too much on making plans and resolutions for 2019, let’s take a few minutes to look back at all the great epigenetics and gene regulation breakthroughs that were published in 2018. We put together this list of our favorite publications from last year. We cover the best new epigenetic techniques, the most interesting novel epigenetic regulatory mechanisms, and the coolest epigenetic applications.

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