Epigenetics and the environment

Recent studies revealed that epigenetic changes may be associated with aging and exposure to various environmental, dietary and lifestyle risk factors. Therefore, epigenetic changes that are risk factor-specific (“fingerprints”) may be instrumental in the discovery of new biomarkers for early diagnosis, prognosis and risk stratification, but also new targets for epigenetics-based therapies and prevention

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by Ettore Meccia and Eugenia Dogliotti, Istituto Superiore di Sanità; Zdenko Herceg, International   Agency for Research on Cancer

DOI 10.12910/EAI2017-056

 

 

If our genome would be solely a static combination of four nucleotide bases, we could not explain the diversity of cell types that characterize our tissues/organs but share an almost identical genome sequence.

This is because the fate of cell development and therefore the cell status is not only a matter of sequence but epigenetic modifications will contribute significantly to cell diversity by regulating global gene expression. …