Comprehensive for now. From ScienceDaily:
One of the great mysteries in biology is how the many different cell types that make up our bodies are derived from a single cell and from one DNA sequence, or genome. We have learned a lot from studying the human genome, but have only partially unveiled the processes underlying cell determination. The identity of each cell type is largely defined by an instructive layer of molecular annotations on top of the genome — the epigenome — which acts as a blueprint unique to each cell type and developmental stage.
Unlike the genome the epigenome changes as cells develop and in response to changes in the environment. Defects in the factors that read, write, and erase the epigenetic blueprint are involved in many diseases. The comprehensive analysis of the epigenomes of healthy and abnormal cells will facilitate new ways to diagnose and treat various diseases, and ultimately lead to improved health outcomes.
A collection of 41 coordinated papers now published by scientists from across the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) sheds light on these processes, taking global research in the field of epigenomics a major step forward. Paper. (public access) – Matthias Farlik et al., DNA Methylation Dynamics of Human Hematopoietic Stem Cell Differentiation. Cell Stem Cell, 2016; DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2016.10.019 More.
These days, genetic fundamentalism is out looking for a job.
Oh and, while we are here, this just hit the news inbox, from Columbia U:
NEW YORK, NY (September 6, 2016)—Columbia University will award the 2016 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize to Howard Cedar, PhD, and Aharon Razin, PhD, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Gary Felsenfeld, PhD, of the National Institutes of Health, for their fundamental work on how molecules can regulate the structure, behavior, and activity of DNA without modifying its genetic code. Their research, which has yielded key insights into how cells and embryos develop, led to the formation of the field of biology called epigenetics.
The Horwitz Prize, first awarded in 1967, is Columbia University’s top honor for achievement in biological and biochemical research. Forty-three Horwitz Prize awardees have gone on to win Nobel Prizes. More.
See also: Epigenetics: Teen binge drinking may affect their own kids’ development later
Epigenetics: Aeon writer says Darwin’s theory is “incomplete”
Epigenetic change: Lamarck, wake up, you’re wanted in the conference room!
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