epigenetics

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Related to Epigenetic inheritance: Epigenetics

epigenetics

(ĕp′ĭ-jə-nĕt′ĭks)
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study of heritable changes in gene expression that are caused by factors such as DNA methylation rather than by a change in the sequence of base pairs in DNA itself.

epigenetics

(ĕp″ĭ-jĕ-nĕt′ĭks)
Changes in the way genes are expressed that occur without changes in the sequence of nucleic acids. In mammals the most common form of epigenetic change results from methylation (the addition of methyl [-CH3] moieties) to the promoter regions of genes. Although epigenetic changes do not alter the sequence of nucleotides, they are inheritable.
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Understanding transgenerational epigenetic inheritance via the gametes
17) While this increased risk could certainly be genetically and/or environmentally transmitted, this study in rodents indicates that transgenerational epigenetic inheritance may also be involved.
Evidence of epigenetic inheritance in multicellular organisms also exists, its occurrence being more common in plants and fungi, probably because soma and germline are not segregated in these groups, and developmentally induced epigenetic variations occurring in somatic cells are readily transferred to the gametes when these somatic cells assume germ line functions (Jablonka and Raz, 2009).
Epigenetic inheritance and evolution: The Lamarckian dimension.
Objective: A PubMed search for epigenetic identifies nearly 35,000 entries, yet the molecular mechanisms by which chromatin modification and gene expression patterns are actually inherited during chromosome replication mechanisms which lie at the heart of epigenetic inheritance of gene expression are still largely uncharacterised.
According to Chadwick, current hypotheses lean toward epigenetic inheritance patterns, which involve chemical modifications to the DNA rather than mutations of the DNA sequence itself.
Obtained from detailed DNA scans in developing mouse eggs and sperm, the finding backs up mounting indirect proof from statistical studies that the genetic impacts of environmental factors like smoking, diet, stressed childhoods, famine and psychiatric disease can be passed down to future generations through a process called epigenetic inheritance.
Epigenetic inheritance, a topic that is receiving much attention in biological literature, is our second illustration of biological complexity.
Jablonka and Raz (2009) list about a hundred examples of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance.
Pigliucci (2007) indicated that there are some major elements missing from the modern synthesis: embryology or development biology; the role of ecology in the evolution of phenotypic novelties or during major transitions in evolution; knowledge related to genomics, proteomics, and the other new "-omics" sciences; and several important biological phenomena, such as phenotypic plasticity, the possibility of evolutionary capacitance, and epigenetic inheritance.