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Epigenetics

  • Martin Beckerman
Chapter
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)

The term “epigenetics” has meant different things to different people and has evolved over time. The term was introduced by Conrad Waddington in the early 1940s. He defined this term as the study of the “causal interactions between genes and their products, which bring the phenotype into being.” His focus was on development and on how specific groups of genes got turned on and off at different developmental stages. This definition has been taken to mean the study of those phenomena that produce alterations in the outcome of a locus of gene expression without changing the underlying DNA sequence. That is, epigenetic processes produce alterations in chromatin structure and cellular phenotype without changing the primary DNA coding sequence.

Nowadays, several kinds of processes are considered as being epigenetic. Some of these produce changers that are heritable, through mitosis or meiosis, from one generation to the next while others are far more dynamic and can be reversed over time...

Keywords

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Histone Methylation Histone Tail Argonaute Protein Histone Lysine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oak RidgeUSA

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