Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Definition Of 'Epigenetics' Clarified

Date:
April 1, 2009
Source:
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Summary:
Scientists are working to develop an operational definition of "epigenetics" -- a rapidly growing research field that investigates heritable alterations in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in DNA sequence.

Ali Shilatifard, Ph.D., Investigator, has joined with a team of colleagues to propose an operational definition of “Epigenetics” — a rapidly growing research field that investigates heritable alterations in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in DNA sequence.

Related Articles


The definition is intended to address confusion within the scientific community about the distinction between the mechanisms of epigenetic memory during early development versus those of dynamic chromatin regulation involved in differential expression of genes throughout adult life. The mechanisms underlying epigenetic memory are of great importance to human development and disease, but they are poorly understood.

The proposed definition reads: “an epigenetic trait is a stably inherited phenotype resulting from changes in a chromosome without alterations in the DNA sequence.” Shilatifard and colleagues have also proposed three categories of signals that operate in the establishment of a stably heritable epigenetic state. The first is a signal from the environment, the second is a responding signal in the cell that specifies the affected chromosomal location, and the third is a sustaining signal that perpetuates the chromatin change in subsequent generations.

“The field of ‘epigenetics’ has been an exciting one and has grown swiftly over the past several years, extending well beyond an initial discovery phase and identification of fundamental non-genetic and chromatin-based regulatory mechanisms,” said Dr. Shilatifard. “This collective effort to define and discuss ‘epigenetics’ is an attempt to add focus and clarity to this exciting and growing area of research.”

Dr. Shilatifard’s publication appeared April 1 in Genes and Development and resulted from a meeting on December 7-10, 2008 that he co-organized at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York to discuss aspects of epigenetic control in genomic function and to develop a consensus definition of “epigenetics” for consideration by the broader research community.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Stowers Institute for Medical Research. "Definition Of 'Epigenetics' Clarified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401181447.htm>.
Stowers Institute for Medical Research. (2009, April 1). Definition Of 'Epigenetics' Clarified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401181447.htm
Stowers Institute for Medical Research. "Definition Of 'Epigenetics' Clarified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401181447.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins