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Epigenetics in Health and Disease by Olga Kovalchuk Ph.D., MD, Igor Kovalchuk Ph.D., MD

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1. Historical perspective

Genetics can be broadly defined as the science studying the mechanisms of inheritance in general and genes in particular. Epigenetics can be, in part, defined as the branch of biology dealing with the mechanisms of inheritance. In contrast to genetics, epigenetics involves the control of gene expression that is not accompanied by any changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetics deals with the mechanisms of heredity which do not involve modifications of DNA sequence and are reversible in nature.

Success of a certain population depends on the fine balance between the ability to retain a given genotype in the stable environment and the ability to evolve by modification in response to substantial environmental changes. Changes in ...

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