"Two major tags can be added to DNA that generally have opposing effects on information exposure. Using a stoplight as an analogy for these DNA tags, DNA methylation is like a red light, while histone acetylation is like a green light. Thus, instructions that are "methylated" are not read or carried out by the cell (red light). On the other hand, histone acetylation, which is the addition of an acetyl group to the tennis ball-like histone proteins that DNA is wrapped around inside cells, actually allows the "string" to be more loosely wrapped around the "tennis balls", making it easier for the instructions to be read and executed by the cell (green light)."
"Professor Knox has some early data to show that one epigenetic process called â€œhistone arginine methylationâ€ is involved in switching on the interleukin 8 gene. Histone arginine methylation is like a dimmer switch for gene activation. Different levels and positions of histone arginine methylation â€˜fine tune' how active a gene is."
METAMIA is a free database of analogy and metaphor. Anyone can contribute or search. The subject matter can be anything. Science is popular, but poetry is encouraged. The goal is to integrate our fluid muses with the stark literalism of a relational database. Metamia is like a girdle for your muses, a cognitive girdle.