New to the field and want to get up to speed quick? Take a dive into our Epigenetics Background section. With a field that’s changing so rapidly, we can’t promise every bit will still hold true, but it should point you in the right direction.

Epigenetics has been changing so fast that it makes maintaining a “Background” section almost impossible. Fortunately for us, our friends at Zymo Research, Active Motif  and Cayman Chemical have produced some really nice review content with the help of some of the field’s top researchers and their own scientists. What’s even nicer is that they let us use it. If you’d like to print out a hard copy, you can find links to the downloads in each of these expanded sections.

Epigenetics Background

The rise of epigenetics marks a maturation of the field, which only 50 years ago was given its name and a vague definition, but is now a dynamic discipline, challenging and revising traditional paradigms of inheritance. This section covers fundamental concepts of epigenetics, including chromatin structure, epigenetic markers, model systems, research methods, and future directions.

Epigenetic Regulation in Mammalian Genomes

DNA methylation, histone modifications and higher order chromatin structure play a central role in the regulation of mammalian genome organization. This review provides a broad overview of epigenetic modifications and mechanisms in large mammalian genomes.

Epigenetics in Cancer

Cancer is caused by failure of checks and balances that control cell numbers in response to the needs of the whole organism. Inappropriate function of genes that promote or inhibit cell growth or survival can be caused by errors introduced into the genetic code itself or by faulty epigenetic mechanisms deciding which genes can and cannot be expressed.

Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression in Insects and Plants

The understanding of epigenetic gene regulation in insects and plants has been driven by discoveries in two model organisms, the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the small experimental plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This section will focus on advances made in our understanding of epigenetic gene regulation in insect and plants.

Histone Acetylation and Genome Function

The role of histone acetylation and its involvement in the regulation of transcription has long been a topic of research in cell and molecular biology labs. Recent studies have revealed the role of histone acetylation in other important processes regulating the structure and function of chromatin, and hence, the eukaryotic genome.