Introduction to the Study of Epigenetics
DOI link for Introduction to the Study of Epigenetics
Introduction to the Study of Epigenetics book
The term epigenetics seems to be used to explain a wide range of biological observations, so it is useful to have a precise definition of its meaning. The word “epigenetics” was first used by Conrad Waddington in 1942, and his definition of the subject was as follows: “a branch of biology which studies the causal interactions between genes and their products which bring the phenotype into being.” Epigeneticists often refer to the "Dutch Hunger Winter" of 1944, and we will be making our own references to this World War II event. Prompted by the findings from the Dutch Hunger Winter, more recent studies have focused on the problems arising in the children of men who either are obese or have suffered starvation. If certain environmental exposures or behavior patterns in previous generations can influence the health of the current generation, altering those exposures or behaviors in the current generation might improve the health of the next.