What the Heck is Epigenetics?
If you haven’t heard the word “epigenetics” yet, get used to it. You’re going to be hearing it a lot in the coming years. Now that the human genome — meaning the full picture of what makes up our DNA — has been mapped, epigenetics is the next big thing in biological science. “Epigenetics can be seen as the vehicle through which the environment interacts with an individual’s genome to determine all aspects of functionality in health and disease,” says Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, Nash Family Professor and director of the Friedman Brain Institute at The Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York City. Chemical changes in cells control the degree to which a gene is expressed, he adds.
- Dr. Eric J. Nestler, Nash Family Professor, Chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Director of the Friedman Brain Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai