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non-coding RNA
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synb

UBER: Cross-Species, Drag-and-Drop Gene Circuits

There’s a bit of a dirty little secret in synthetic biology – gene circuits that work great in one species often require a lot of changes to work in anything else.  This is one reason so many synbio papers contain the same two key words: E. and coli.  Now, a new approach called UBER (Universal […]

read more...
synb

RiboT: Synthetic Ribosome Opens Door to Independent Genetic Codes

Synthetic biologists have made a lot of progress in developing “orthogonal” genetic systems.  DNA and RNA have been made with synthetic base pairs, and cells have been coaxed to produce proteins with synthetic amino acids.  This expands the genetic code beyond the standard letters used by life on Earth, which could potentially open up new […]

read more...
chr

ChIPmentation: The Next Fast and Low-Input ChIP-seq Sensation

ChIP-Seq is the bread and butter of histone and transcription factor research. It has seen countless modifications to allow it to perform under all the variables biology can throw at it, but with that specialization has come limitations to generalization. Now the methodological maestros in the lab of Christoph Bock, which brought us single-cell methylome sequencing, […]

read more...
stem

Two Cocktails to Boost Reprogramming to Neurons

Trendy drinks come and go, but it looks like there are a couple of new cocktails that will have some staying power within the stem cell community. In last week’s issue of Cell Stem Cell, two independent groups report in back-to-back papers the development of small molecule chemical cocktails, which enable neurons to be directly derived […]

read more...
dnam

New Insights into Puzzling Placental DNA Methylation Domains

The human placental methylome was the first normal tissue where partially methylated domains (PMDs) were characterized, found to be developmentally dynamic, and distinct from highly methylated domains (HMDs, methylation >70%). PMDs are a large scale genomic feature with DNA methylation levels that are less than 70% but nowhere near 0% and tend to harbour neuron […]

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synb

Phage Therapy: Synthetic Biology Goes Viral

Viruses have long been maligned as worthless, pseudo-alive parasites, but treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections may be about to go viral.  No, we don’t mean cats taking medicine on video (although…).  No, this is phage therapy. Phages are viruses that infect bacteria, and research into using them to treat bacterial infections goes back decades, especially in […]

read more...
dnam

Epigenetics Drives Genetics Straight Into Evolution

In today’s fast-paced world, quickly adapting to your environment is a game-changer. But genetic determinism cannot fully explain the rapid adaption seen in many species, which has left evolution in a dark age. That is until the enlightening work of Michael Skinner’s laboratory at Washington State University. Their observations on transgenerational epigenetic inheritance have been […]

read more...
synb

Hacking the Microbiome: Bacteria Advance Therapeutics and Diagnostics

Commensal bacteria have long had branding issues.  First there was an awareness problem – “Wait, these things are inside us?”  Then there was an image problem – “Germs! Bad! Kill!”  They even had a Pluto moment, when it turned out a whole bunch of them weren’t even bacteria at all. Despite these difficulties, the word […]

read more...
dnam

Lights Out! Sleep Loss Affects DNA Methylation of Circadian Genes

  ‘La nuit blanche’. No, it is not a delicious pastry. It’s the French expression for staying up all night and not going to bed until the next evening, which in most cases will leave you pretty irritable. But losing one night’s sleep may affect more than just your mood; a new study by Swedish […]

read more...
dnam

Wanted: Serially-Offending Epigenetic Enzymes Implicated In Cancer

Epigenetic enzymes are among the prime suspects in the identity parade of genes responsible for the deregulation of the genome in cancer. But are the same epigenetic enzymes always found at the scene of the crime? A new analysis from a team of international researchers led by Andrew Teschendorff identifies three epigenetic enzymes that can […]

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Epigenetics

chr

ChIPmentation: The Next Fast and Low-Input ChIP-seq Sensation

ChIP-Seq is the bread and butter of histone and transcription factor research. It has seen countless modifications to allow it to perform under all the variables biology can throw at it, but with that specialization has come limitations to generalization. Now the methodological maestros in the lab of Christoph Bock, which brought us single-cell methylome sequencing, […]

read more...
dnam

Epigenetics Drives Genetics Straight Into Evolution

In today’s fast-paced world, quickly adapting to your environment is a game-changer. But genetic determinism cannot fully explain the rapid adaption seen in many species, which has left evolution in a dark age. That is until the enlightening work of Michael Skinner’s laboratory at Washington State University. Their observations on transgenerational epigenetic inheritance have been […]

read more...
dnam

Lights Out! Sleep Loss Affects DNA Methylation of Circadian Genes

  ‘La nuit blanche’. No, it is not a delicious pastry. It’s the French expression for staying up all night and not going to bed until the next evening, which in most cases will leave you pretty irritable. But losing one night’s sleep may affect more than just your mood; a new study by Swedish […]

read more...
dnam

Exploiting Nucleotide Recycling to Kill Cancer

Have you ever had a doubt about what exactly you can recycle? The cell is faced with the same problem when it encounters epigenetic nucleosides. It does not really know if they can be recycled as they are or discarded. New research by the team of Skirmantas Kriaucionis shows that although such nucleotides are normally […]

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tech

Webinar: Key Steps for Validating Antibodies and Optimizing the ChIP Workflow

Abstract: Research in the field of epigenetics has grown at a rapid pace since the discovery of the first histone acetyltransferase enzymes 18 years ago. Since then, significant advances have been made in our understanding of the basic mechanisms of epigenetics (histone acetylation, histone methylation, chromatin remodeling and DNA methylation) and the impact of epigenetic […]

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ncrna

Race, Gender and Non-Coding RNA: tRNAs Don’t Play it Politically Correct

Human genetics just got a whole lot more complicated with a report published last week by Isidore Rigoutsos’ team in Oncotarget. As if differences in expression profiles between cells, tissues and differentiation stages weren’t already enough, it seems that race and gender also affect genomic output. Specifically, the team focused on transfer RNAs (tRNAs). tRNAs […]

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dnam

Resistance is Futile: Epigenetic Therapy Makes Cancer Cells Defenseless

A team of American scientists have shown that an epigenetic therapy might hold promise for combatting drug resistance in cancer. Cancer cells are masters of drug evasion and adept at using alternative pathways to give them an edge during treatment, complicating many therapeutic approaches. Overcoming drug resistance in cancer cells, would save millions of lives […]

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ncrna

CRISPR-Display: For the lncRNA Enthusiast that has Everything

From wall hung TVs to the latest wearable; displays have been a key technology differentiator for years. Now we’d like to introduce you to CRISPR-Display, one of the latest applications of CRISPR technology for the lncRNA lover that wants to elevate their functional game. Interest in lncRNAs continues to surge, but like other uncharted areas […]

read more...
dnam

5fC is Stable in Mammalian Brains

DNA methylation has been undergoing dramatic change lately. 6mA shook things up by showing Cytosine can’t claim all the glory and now a talented team from the UK have shown 5-formylcytosine (5fC) is starting to follow in 5hmC’s independent footsteps. The team profiled 5hmC, 5fC, and 5caC using: in vivo isotope labeling of methionine to penetrate […]

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non-coding RNA

ncrna

Race, Gender and Non-Coding RNA: tRNAs Don’t Play it Politically Correct

Human genetics just got a whole lot more complicated with a report published last week by Isidore Rigoutsos’ team in Oncotarget. As if differences in expression profiles between cells, tissues and differentiation stages weren’t already enough, it seems that race and gender also affect genomic output. Specifically, the team focused on transfer RNAs (tRNAs). tRNAs […]

read more...
ncrna

CRISPR-Display: For the lncRNA Enthusiast that has Everything

From wall hung TVs to the latest wearable; displays have been a key technology differentiator for years. Now we’d like to introduce you to CRISPR-Display, one of the latest applications of CRISPR technology for the lncRNA lover that wants to elevate their functional game. Interest in lncRNAs continues to surge, but like other uncharted areas […]

read more...
ncrna

miRNA-Switches Makes Stem Cell Selection Pure and Simple

As any sports coach, hopeful lottery winner, or child in a candy store will tell you, an effective selection strategy is vitally important to a successful outcome. Selection is also an important concept for scientists and clinicians hoping to take advantage of the ability that human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have to differentiate into multiple […]

read more...
ncrna

Get in the Loop of Antisense Mediated Transcriptional Regulation

Long non-coding RNA research isn’t just a load of HOTAIR; since their initial discovery long non-coding RNAs have revealed their importance in regulating the genome. One such insight is the observation that lncRNA express antisense transcripts, which are abundantly found either partially or completely overlapping with transcripts from the opposite strand. These have been shown […]

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ncrna

Novel Primate- and Tissue Specific miRNAs with Dr Isidore Rigoutsos

In this interview Dr Isidore Rigoutsos discusses his recent paper ‘Analysis of 13 cell types reveals evidence for the expression of numerous novel primate- and tissue-specific microRNAs‘ published in PNAS, February 2015. This paper shows the presence of many more miRNAs than previously thought and uncovers that the majority of these are in fact, cell-type […]

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chr

A cHi-C Way of Capturing Chromatin Conformation

Identifying cancer risk loci is like trying to find a key you lost somewhere in your apartment. You know that it’s there and by combining experience with indistinct recollection you can even narrow it down to a few square meters. Now imagine you not only have to find the key but also map all the […]

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ncrna

Gene Expression Comes Full CircRNA

Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a diverse RNA species that regulate gene expression in some funky ways, like functioning as super absorbent miRNA sponges in mammalian cells. However, they also seem to be particularly relevant to the brain. Recent research adds a new function to this ‘outside of the box’ method of regulating gene expression by observing circRNAs […]

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ncrna

m6Ajor New Function for MicroRNAs in RNA Methylation

It’s no secret that microRNAs are pretty busy molecules. A single microRNA can regulate the expression of several, maybe even hundreds, of transcripts. If that wasn’t enough, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing now add another function to this packed list of duties: the control of m6A RNA methylation, which is emerging as an […]

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ncrna

Expressed Long Non-coding RNAs Snitch on Tissue-specific Enhancers

Predicting tissue-specific enhancers is a tricky business. While histone marks such as H3K4me1 and binding of p300 are good enhancer predictors, pointing out which enhancers are tissue-specific is more of a challenge. That is, of course, unless you have PreSTIGE – an algorithm developed by the Scacheri lab that identifies tissue-specific enhancers by combining H3K4me1 […]

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ncrna

From Neuron to Germline: Inheritance by Mobile RNAs

We’ve got transgenerational epigenetic inheritance on the mind and now strangely enough it seems that the mind also causes transgenerational epigenetic inheritance?! Researchers have just shown the strangest case of inheritance yet: soma to germline. A talented team from the University of Maryland have been tracing double stranded RNA (dsRNA) in C. elegans and have made some interesting observations […]

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Synthetic Biology

synb

UBER: Cross-Species, Drag-and-Drop Gene Circuits

There’s a bit of a dirty little secret in synthetic biology – gene circuits that work great in one species often require a lot of changes to work in anything else.  This is one reason so many synbio papers contain the same two key words: E. and coli.  Now, a new approach called UBER (Universal […]

read more...
synb

RiboT: Synthetic Ribosome Opens Door to Independent Genetic Codes

Synthetic biologists have made a lot of progress in developing “orthogonal” genetic systems.  DNA and RNA have been made with synthetic base pairs, and cells have been coaxed to produce proteins with synthetic amino acids.  This expands the genetic code beyond the standard letters used by life on Earth, which could potentially open up new […]

read more...
synb

Phage Therapy: Synthetic Biology Goes Viral

Viruses have long been maligned as worthless, pseudo-alive parasites, but treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections may be about to go viral.  No, we don’t mean cats taking medicine on video (although…).  No, this is phage therapy. Phages are viruses that infect bacteria, and research into using them to treat bacterial infections goes back decades, especially in […]

read more...
synb

Hacking the Microbiome: Bacteria Advance Therapeutics and Diagnostics

Commensal bacteria have long had branding issues.  First there was an awareness problem – “Wait, these things are inside us?”  Then there was an image problem – “Germs! Bad! Kill!”  They even had a Pluto moment, when it turned out a whole bunch of them weren’t even bacteria at all. Despite these difficulties, the word […]

read more...
synb

Expanding the Genetic Code with Synthetic Bases

  Life on Earth only uses 4 DNA bases (ACGT), but in principle, there’s no good reason why we couldn’t use more.  Heeding the call of “this might be possible but nature hasn’t done it yet I wonder why not?”, synthetic biologists have been tinkering with synthetic bases to see if an expanded DNA alphabet […]

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synb

The Power of Cooperation In Biosynthetic Coculture Systems

Traditionally, most bioproduction culture systems use just one strain of yeast or bacteria. Sometimes, though, you just need a little help from your friends. That’s the idea behind the emerging field of synthetic ecology, which just achieved a major proof-of-principle success thanks to a team of MIT scientists. Cocultures have been used in specific cases […]

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synb

Optogenetics Sets the Pace

When it comes to the fast pace of biotechnology, missing a beat is never good. Building on that principle, a talented team from Israel used optogenetics to resynchronize hearts with just that problem. Optogenetic systems are showing tremendous clinical potential, whether it be bringing eyesight to the blind or restoring excitable physiology, they offer a […]

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ncrna

CRISPR-Display: For the lncRNA Enthusiast that has Everything

From wall hung TVs to the latest wearable; displays have been a key technology differentiator for years. Now we’d like to introduce you to CRISPR-Display, one of the latest applications of CRISPR technology for the lncRNA lover that wants to elevate their functional game. Interest in lncRNAs continues to surge, but like other uncharted areas […]

read more...
synb

Gene Editing Future Brightens with paCas9

We knew it was coming.  No, not another Jurassic Park sequel.  No, not another installment of Star Wars.  More inevitable than the revival of the Terminator franchise: we now have photoactivatable CRISPR/Cas9. Yes, as surely as the sun rises, scientists have developed a way to use that light (or at least the blue part) to […]

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synb

MINimize Your Genome Engineering Efforts with CRISPR and Bxb1

CRISPR is for genome engineering what Mike Tyson was for boxing: simple, efficient and almost a guarantee to see a knockout in the first round.  While in boxing a knockout typically results in an involuntary power nap of the opponent, the phenotype of a gene knockout is often not so clear-cut. Besides potential problems caused […]

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Stem Cells

stem

Two Cocktails to Boost Reprogramming to Neurons

Trendy drinks come and go, but it looks like there are a couple of new cocktails that will have some staying power within the stem cell community. In last week’s issue of Cell Stem Cell, two independent groups report in back-to-back papers the development of small molecule chemical cocktails, which enable neurons to be directly derived […]

read more...
stem

Stem Cell Derived Brain Orginoids Reveal a Root of Autism

Two cutting edge stem cell techniques have joined forces this week to produce a breakthrough in our understanding of the causes of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Years of study have gone into assessing if specific mutations in autism-associated genes contribute to the abnormal brain development observed in ASD with little or no luck. Seeing this […]

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stem

Stem Cell Reprogramming – Leaner, Quicker, Cheaper, Better

“More for less” is a phrase that generally gets most people excited, and scientists trying to make induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are no exception. The reprogramming of somatic cells to generate iPSCs aims to bring patient-specific cell replacement therapies to the masses, but the process currently suffers from obstacles common to new technologies – […]

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stem

Nukes Aid Stem Cell Research in the Heart

Researchers from the laboratory of Jonas Frisén at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have recently put radioactive carbon from nuclear bomb tests to good use, testing whether the adult human heart has the ability to repair itself. So how does that work? Well, a sharp rise in atmospheric radioactive carbon in the 1950-60s due to […]

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stem

KeyGenes Helps Predict Differentiated Humans iPSCs

Cells differentiated from embryonic stem cells are generally phenotypically immature, so identifying what cell type they are can be a bit like trying to figure out what exactly the picture your child drew for you in kindergarten is supposed to be. “That’s lovely darling but…” Luckily, for biologists at least, a team of Dutch researchers […]

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ncrna

miRNA-Switches Makes Stem Cell Selection Pure and Simple

As any sports coach, hopeful lottery winner, or child in a candy store will tell you, an effective selection strategy is vitally important to a successful outcome. Selection is also an important concept for scientists and clinicians hoping to take advantage of the ability that human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have to differentiate into multiple […]

read more...
chr

Could Chromatin Organization be the Key to Eternal Youth?

For thousands of years great men such as Alexander the Great and Ponce de León have searched far and wide in their search for the fountain of youth and the hope of eternal life. But where they previously failed, an enterprising group of scientists may have now just succeeded! A report published recently in Science […]

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stem

A TET-à-TET Between SIRT6 and 5hmC Controls Embryonic Stem Cell Fate

With many political parties fighting it out for influence in the UK general election last week, it is nice to see the spirit of cooperation alive and well in embryonic stem cells. In their latest study, Raul Mostoslavsky and colleagues show that two giants of epigenetic regulation, histone acetylation and DNA hydroxymethylation, team up to […]

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synb

CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing of Human Embryos: A Look at the Science

Unless you were on Mars or in the middle of a Netflix binge, you couldn’t have missed the paper that has been hitting the headlines all over the world this week – the first example of the genetic modification of human embryos. The study led by Junjiu Huang (Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou) used CRISPR-Cas9 gene […]

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Conference Highlights

Name City Country Date
Name City Country Date
4th Oxford Symposium – Epigenetic Mechanisms in Health and Disease Oxford United Kingdom 24 Jun 2015
DNA Repair and Genome Stability within Chromatin Environments Mainz Germany 03 Jun 2015
EMBO Chromatin and Epigenetics 2015 Heidelberg Germany 02 Jun 2015
Neuroepigenetics 2015 Santa Fe USA 22 Feb 2015
microRNAs Europe Meeting 2014 Cambridge UK 03 Nov 2014
Epigenomics of Common Diseases 2014 Cambridge UK 27 Oct 2014
Epigenetic plasticity: Implications in Neural (dys)function 2014 Braga Portugal 22 Oct 2014
Chromatin and Epigenetics: From Omics to Single Cells Strasbourg France 14 Oct 2014
World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics 2014 Copenhagen Denmark 12 Oct 2014
Nuclear RNA, Gene Regulation, and Chromatin Structure (2014 IMB Conference) Mainz Germany 09 Oct 2014
Transcription and Chromatin Heidelberg Germany 23 Aug 2014
EpiCongress-Boston 2014 Boston USA 22 Jul 2014
Canadian Conference on Epigenetics: Epigenetics, Eh! 2014 London Canada 22 Jun 2014
RNA-Seq 2014 Boston USA 17 Jun 2014
Cambridge Epigenetics Symposium 2014 Babraham United Kingdom 10 Jun 2014
Linking Metabolism to Epigenetics 2014 Cambridge USA 01 May 2014
Chromatin: from Nucleosomes to Chromosomes Cambridge UK 30 Apr 2014
Long Noncoding RNAs: Marching toward Mechanism Santa Fe USA 27 Feb 2014
Cancer Epigenetics 2014 Santa Fe USA 04 Feb 2014
EpiCongress London 2013 London UK 19 Nov 2013
Chromatin Structure & Function 2013 Grand Cayman Island 11 Nov 2013
3rd Wellcome Trust Epigenomics of Common Diseases Cambridge UK 07 Nov 2013
Next-Generation Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Boston USA 25 Sep 2013
Targeting Histone Demethylases Boston USA 25 Sep 2013
Targeting Epigenetic Readers Boston 24 Sep 2013
The Clinical Epigenome Conference San Francisco 26 Jun 2013
Chromatin and Epigenetics 2013 Heidelberg Germany 08 May 2013
Non-Coding RNA, Epigenetics and Transgenerational Inheritance Cambridge UK 11 Apr 2013
NCI Symposium on Chromosome Biology: Epigenetics in Development Bethesda, 04 Apr 2013
Epigenetic Marks and Cancer Drugs 2013 Santa Fe USA 20 Mar 2013
Epigenetics & Chromatin: Interactions and Processes 2013 Boston USA 11 Mar 2013
Noncoding RNAs in Development and Cancer 2013 Vancouver Canada 20 Jan 2013
4th World Epigenetics Summit 2012 London UK 04 Dec 2012
Epigenetics and Stem Cells 2012 Cambridge UK 16 Oct 2012
Discovery On Target – Histone Methyltransferases & Demethylases 2012 Boston USA 02 Oct 2012
10th Transcription and Chromatin 2012 Heidelberg Germany 24 Aug 2012
World Epigenetics Summit 2012 Boston USA 24 Jul 2012
Regulation of Adult Neurogenesis: From Epigenetics to Behavior Barcelona Spain 12 Jul 2012
Chromatin: From Structure to Epigenetics Strasbourg France 26 Jun 2012
Epigenetic Regulation: From Mechanism to Intervention 2012 London UK 20 Jun 2012
ISSCR Annual Meeting 2012 Yokohama Japan 13 Jun 2012
DIA-ChIP 2012 Swansea UK 11 Jun 2012
The Contribution of Epigenetics in Pediatric Environmental Health San Francisco USA 30 May 2012
Epigenetics 2012 Adelaide Australia 07 May 2012
Genomics Research 2012 Boston USA 19 Apr 2012
Epigenetic Control of Skin Development and Regeneration 2012 Bradford UK 02 Apr 2012
Non-Coding RNAs Snowbird USA 31 Mar 2012
X-Gen Congress: Epigenetics 2012 San Diego USA 05 Mar 2012
Gene Silencing by Small RNAs Vancouver Canada 07 Feb 2012
Stem Cells 2012 San Diego USA 02 Feb 2012
Epigenomics and Chromatin Dynamics Keystone USA 17 Jan 2012
2nd World Epigenetics Summit Munich Germany 14 Dec 2011
Chromatin Structure and Function 2011 Aruba 05 Dec 2011
SFN Neuroscience 2011 Meeting Highlights Washington, D.C. United States 28 Nov 2011
ESF-EMBO Epigenetics in Context: Ecology to Evolution Sant Feliu de Guixols Spain 03 Oct 2011
Epigenetics Europe 2011 Munich Germany 28 Sep 2011
A Day with Andy Feinberg Symposium Melbourne Australia 31 Aug 2011
World Epigenetics Summit 2011 Boston United States 18 Aug 2011
EMBO Conference: Chromatin and Epigenetics 2011 Heidelberg Germany 16 Jul 2011
ISSCR Annual Meeting 2011 Toronto Canada 06 Jul 2011
Epigenetic World Congress 2011 Boston USA 17 May 2011
Environmental Epigenomics and Disease Susceptibility 2011 Asheville USA 27 Mar 2011
NYAS Behavioral Epigenetics 2010 Boston USA 29 Oct 2010
Epigenetics Europe Conference 2010 Dublin Ireland 14 Sep 2010
Epigenetics and Stem Cells 2010 Copenhagen Denmark 25 Aug 2010
ISSCR 2010 San Francisco USA 16 Jun 2010
Epigenetics World Congress Boston USA 26 May 2010
CHI X Gen Congress San Diego United States 17 Mar 2010
Keystone Molecular Basis for Chromatin Structure and Regulation Taos United States 28 Feb 2010
Keystone Symposia RNA Silencing – Mechanism, Biology and Application Keystone United States 02 Feb 2010
Epigenetics 2009 Melbourne Australia 15 Dec 2009
Abcam’s Fifth Chromatin: Structure & Function Conference Guanacaste Costa Rica 01 Dec 2009
EMBO Conference on Chromatin and Epigenetics Heidelberg Germany 18 Jun 2009
Emerging Evidence for Epigenomic Changes in Human Disease Bethesda United States 25 Mar 2009