In brief

Conrad Waddington (1905-1975) is often credited with coining the term epigenetics in 1942 as "the branch of biology which studies the causal interactions between genes and their products, which bring the phenotype into being". Epigenetics appears in the literature as far back as [...]

With the dawn of any new technology, society has to be wary of the potential for its misuse, especially in the case of powerful technologies that could alter the world as we know it. Epigenetics offers us the potential to reprogramme genomes without genetic modification. [...]

Over 50 years have passed since Watson and Crick first published the three-dimensional structure of the DNA double helix. With Darwinian evolutionary theory now so widespread, the discovery that DNA encodes hereditary characteristics has proven popular. [...]

"At times in their lives they have definitely striven to be perceived as a unit and at other times seem to want people to acknowledge their differences and respect them as individuals," says Jimmy of his friends Gavin and Jason. Gavin and Jason are identical twins. [...]

The cloned moggy with two mums.
I named our last cat after the famous Irish black beer because her mottled fur coat reminded me of a settling pint of Guinness. Had I £25 000 to spare, and were Guinness still alive, I might consider getting her cloned. [...]

Cancer affects everyone: young or old, rich or poor. Well over a tenth of global deaths in the year 2000 were caused by malignant tumours. Even if you never get cancer, no doubt you know someone who has or will. A couple of years ago the World Health Organisation estimated that by 2020 cancer [...]

A few hundred years before zero, some clever Greeks began to wonder how we developed. How much are we preprogrammed versus environmentally shaped? Over two millenia later, the verdict is still out.

Have you ever wondered how your genome works? Well, thanks to scientists like Roger Kornberg, awarded the 2006 Nobel prize for Chemistry, who has painstakingly studied the micromechanics of transcription, we're getting a much clearer picture of what happens inside the nucleus, and how the billions [...]

What have petunias and roundworms got in common? They look different, feel different, smell different, taste...well, one would assume so. Both petunia plants and worms helped scientists to discover a novel way to switch off genes. Nature has several ways of silencing genes, a clever [...]

By Dr Lindsey Goff
Cancer is not just one disease with one cause. There are billions of cells in our body each home to a multitude of tightly-controlled biochemical activities. So there are numerous points where control can break down and cause cancer [...]

This month 'The Independent' reported that 3000% more Britons are using cocaine today than a decade ago. The rise is attributed both to increased availability and a drop in the cost of the class A substance. The long term-implications of this trend are especially worrying in light of recent [...]

The 52' documentary film « The Hidden Life of our Genes », written and directed by Hervé Nisic, produced by Pierre-François Decouflé (Heliox Films) with the support of the 7th Framework Research Programme of the European Union, has won the best film award at the International Life Sciences Film Festival of Praha [...]

Congratulations to Epigenome member, David Baulcombe, Professor of Botany (Cambridge University, UK) for winning the prestigious Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. David won the prize jointly with Victor Ambros [...]

What is epigenetics? Since you have come to visit our website, you are probably curious about this field of science which is attractings increasing attention today and will probably undoubtedly continue to grow in the next decades.[...]

Systems Biology approaches are promising to help scientists advance the field of Epigenetics.
Systems biology is the study of systems of biological components. Since living systems are dynamic and complex, their behavior can be hard to predict [...]

Stefan Janusz explains how new research is shaping our understanding of stem cell biology.
Pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells can give rise to any of the multitude of cell types in the body, making them an exciting prospect for generating [...]

Stefan Janusz reports on how genes are poised for transcription.

Stem cell therapy holds the key to regenerative medicine: replace defunct or diseased cells in an organ by injecting new cells derived from a continually replenishing source. This kind of therapy often relies on the [...]

Stefan Janusz reports on how genes are poised for transcription.

A publication by researchers at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre (Genome Function Group) has shown that genes supposedly hidden from transcriptional machinery can still be poised and ready to be expressed. [...]

Stefan Janusz reports on new ways of investigating embryo development.

Stem cell therapy holds the key to regenerative medicine: replace defunct or diseased cells in an organ by injecting new cells derived from a continually replenishing source. This kind of therapy often relies on the [...]

Sarah Palin might be rather shocked to learn that she has thousands of genes in common with the fruit fly (watch video). Yet for this very reason flies are key to understanding human diseases like cancer. For more than half a century scientists have been using Drosophila melanogaster as a tool to [...]

We're all well aware that a difficult childhood can have a great impact on the course of someone's life. Childhood abuse can even drive individuals to commit suicide. A study published in Nature Neuroscience this month elucidates the molecular basis of how stress can shape the way genes work [...]

One of the world's smallest organisms may hold clues about how the cell nucleus evolved. Nanoarchaeum equitans is a species of tiny microbe, discovered in 2002 in a hydrothermal vent off the coast of Iceland. It grows in temperatures close to boiling ontop of another single-celled creature called [...]

An expectant mother might well logically reason that what she eats will affect her unborn child. But the evidence is mounting that not only her children, but her grandchildren and subsequent generations will be affected by her nutrition. What she eats may not only affect her descendants as they develop [...]