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State of the Chromatin State

Quiescent stem cells have a permissive chromatin state, and as they age, epigenetic changes may accumulate and lead to functional changes, report researchers from Stanford University in Cell Reports. Thomas Rando and his colleagues examined the global epigenetic profiles of both quiescent and active mouse muscle satellite cells from young and old mice using ChIP-seq and gene expression microarray analysis.

By combining their findings, Rando and his team report that their results showed that the quiescent satellite cells generally have a few genes that are repressed, and as they age, the cells accumulate more repressed chromatin domains, which the investigators theorize may be linked to age-related functional decline,

"[N]ow that we know what kinds of changes occur as these cells age, we can ask which of these changes reverse themselves when an old cell goes back to becoming a young cell," Rando says, according to the site Stem Cells Freak.

The Scan

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.

Active Lifestyle Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in People at High Genetic Risk

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that an active lifestyle goes a long way in type 2 diabetes prevention.

Beneficial, Harmful Effects of Introgression Between Wild and Domesticated European Grapes

A paper in PNAS shows that European wild grapevines were an important resource for improving the flavor of cultivated wine grapes.

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.