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Epigenetics: The Final Frontier?

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Science  09 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5950, pp. 303
DOI: 10.1126/science.326_303


Epigenetics is hot. In recent years, researchers in fields as diverse as cell biology, development, and even microbial pathogenesis have become very interested in heritable traits that don't rely on DNA. The idea itself is not new--cancer biologists have known for decades that mechanisms such as DNA methylation and chromatin modification can transmit changes to subsequent generations of cells without changing DNA sequences--but studying these phenomena has recently been increasing in popularity, aided by new technological innovations.