BONUS 197: Epigenetics 101

March 8, 2019

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Today’s bonus episode guest is Dr. Carol Curchoe, a clinical embryologist working in fertility medicine at San Diego Fertility Center and the founder of ART Compass

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Dr. Curchoe and Heather discuss everything you need to know about epigenetics:

INTRODUCTION

  • I’d like to start by hearing a little bit about you. Tell us about your professional background and training.
  • Take us through your career since your fellowship.
  • Why did you choose to specialize in reproductive biology?

INTRO TO EPIGENETICS

  • What is epigenetics, and how does it differ from genetics?
  • Why is epigenetics important?
  • How has the study of epigenetics evolved over the years?
  • What are epigenetic changes? Can they be inherited, or is the impact more on an individual level?
  • What is DNA methylation?
  • What is non-coding RNA-associated gene silencing?
  • What is histone modification and chromatin remodeling?
  • Is there anything else we need to know about the foundation of epigenetics before moving on to how it impacts fertility?

EPIGENETICS & FERTILITY

  • How does epigenetics impact female fertility?
  • How does epigenetics impact male fertility?
  • Do fertility treatments impact epigenetics? If so, how?
  • Is there a way to test for epigenetic markers?
  • If a test reveals any abnormalities, what can be done?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add about epigenetics and fertility?

EPIGENETICS RESEARCH

  • Tell us about some recent epigenetics research related to fertility.
  • What are some questions related to epigenetics and fertility that still need answers? Do you have a sense for when those answers might be possible?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add about epigenetics research?

WRAPPING UP

  • Infertility comes with a loss of control. What words of hope would you offer to someone who’s looking to take back some control over their fertility?

References:

Thanks for listening!

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