25 years ago, the laboratories of Azim Surani and Davor Solter demonstrated that specific regions of a cell's genome were being marked with instructions beyond the DNA code. This imprint imparts information on differential gene expression, and thus helps govern what cells do. These findings were pivotal to the emerging field of epigenetics. In most cases epigenetic information is faithfully passed on from cell to progenitor cell, but when these processes go awry, disease can result. It has now been shown that misregulation of the epigenetic imprint plays a key role in cancer, as well as other conditions including inflammatory disorders, diabetes and cardiovascular conditions. This is becoming a key area for commercial research into novel therapeutics.
Topics addressed at this event will include:
the epigenome and regulation of development;
reprogramming and dynamics of DNA methylation ;
the epigenome in health and disease;
interactions between genome and epigenome;
the parental origin of specific epigenetic control;
many epigenomes and their regulation.
Find out more about genetics in The Rough Guide to Genes and Cloning, coauthored by BioNews Contributing Editor Dr Jess Buxton (buy this book from Amazon UK or Amazon USA); and find out more about fertility/embryology regulation in Human Fertilisation and Embryology: Reproducing Regulation, coedited by BioNews Contributing Editor Dr Kirsty Horsey (buy this book from Amazon UK or Amazon USA).