The field described as ‘epigenetics’ has captured the imagination of scientists and the lay public. Advances in our understanding of chromatin and gene regulatory mechanisms have had impact on drug development, fueling excitement in the lay public about the prospects of applying this knowledge to address health issues. However, when describing these scientific advances as ‘epigenetic’, we encounter the problem that this term means different things to different people, starting within the scientific community and amplified in the popular press. To help researchers understand some of the misconceptions in the field and to communicate the science accurately to each other and the lay audience, here we review the basis for many of the assumptions made about what are currently referred to as epigenetic processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)