Candice Carpenter's Reviews > Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance

Epigenetics by Richard C. Francis
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's review
Apr 17, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: science, genetics
Read from April 13 to 17, 2012

A great primer on the astonishing new developments within the arising field of Epigenetics. Beware, a solid background in college biology, genetics, and immunology is necessary to read this book with understanding. A definite recommendation for bio majors, pre-meds, and geeky non-science folks who like to dabble in science from time to time. But in a nutshell, what is epigenetics? Essentially, everything that happens on TOP of and AROUND our actual genes, or our individual genomes. For instance, genes can be turned on and off continually via methylation (e.g. spraying genes with methyl groups) or histone addition/removal (e.g. histones are proteins that tightly hug genes and keep them wound up in our cells).

For a sneak peak, I've included a few key themes of the book:

(a) Epigenetic gene regulation is long-term gene regulation; hence, epigenetic alterations have long-term effects on gene behavior.

(b)Environmentally induced epigenetic alterations that occur early in life are especially important. I.e. poor nutrition can epigenetically impact your genes for a lifetime or more!

(c)Epigenetic processes are predominantly random.

(d) Epigenetic alterations can have a transgenerational impact that is direct or indirect. In other words, what happens to the surface of your genes in your lifetime can be passed onto your kids!

Very cool book- definitely a quick and knowledge-boosting read.

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04/13/2012 page 110

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