September 17


Introduction to epigenetics

By heheals

September 17, 2020

This course is a part of a series of bioinformatics modules designed to introduce biologists to analysis of various omics data types. Learn more:

Epigenetics refers to mechanisms of gene expression regulation that do not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence. At least three systems including DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) are considered to play fundamental roles in epigenetic regulation.

Epigenetic regulations play an important role in a variety of human disorders and diseases. In addition, age, environment, lifestyle, and other factors influence epigenetic states.

Epigenetic regulation of gene expression has been linked to discrete mechanisms that affect the stability, folding, positioning, and organization of DNA. The most studied of these mechanisms includes DNA methylation and chromatin remodeling, which work synergistically to organize the genome into transcriptionally active and inactive zones.

To better understand the bioinformatics approaches to studying the epigenetic changes in cells, it is firts important to understand the biology and the molecular assays that are used in researching these regulatory mechanisms.



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  1. This mono-tonal recitation of a poorly written textbook is more confusing than helpful. This format might be ok for someone reviewing epigenes, but as an introduction to a newbie, not so good. And it is a pity since whoever created this did a lot of work. I feel bad writing this public criticism, but this is more helpful to you than a glowing compliment. Another thought you might consider is to only put up images that make a specific point. Textbooks are stuck having to fit the text and images together, but a living narrator has the choice of what images to show the audience. By synchronizing the narration and images, difficult ideas can be clarified much better than they can be on a printed page. Bottom line… look at this presentation as a two pillar approach to understanding concepts… and make sure both pillars are working together. Thankfully there was no music. That would have made it unbearable.

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