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Epigenetics

updated: August 10, 2022

Definition

Epigenetics (also sometimes called epigenomics) is a field of study focused on changes in DNA that do not involve alterations to the underlying sequence. The DNA letters and the proteins that interact with DNA can have chemical modifications that change the degrees to which genes are turned on and off. Certain epigenetic modifications may be passed on from parent cell to daughter cell during cell division or from one generation to the next. The collection of all epigenetic changes in a genome is called an epigenome.



Narration

Epigenetics. The DNA letters in a gene as well as the proteins that interact with set gene are not bare. Both are decorated with chemical modifications that regulate how, where, and when the gene is turned on and off. Epigenetics, also called epigenomics, studies how certain epigenetic modifications may be passed on from one generation to the next. The collection of all epigenetic changes in a genome is called an epigenome.

Belen Hurle, Ph.D.
Belen Hurle, Ph.D.

Educational Outreach Specialist

Education and Community Involvement Branch