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Defining Epigenetics

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In June 2010, at the 75th Symposium on Nuclear Organization and Function at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, Science editor Guy Riddihough asked a number of top researchers a simple question: “What’s your definition of epigenetics?” Their answers aren't quite so simple. Although epigenetics generally refers to the inheritance of variation above and beyond changes in DNA sequence, the term is becoming shorthand for a variety regulatory systems involving DNA methylation, histone modification, nucleosome location, or noncoding RNA. Science, with contributions from its sister journals, and Science Careers tackles the topic in a special section of the 29 October 2010 issue.

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