The fight for buzz: Epigenetics Versus Genome Structure

There is a huge buzz in the molecular biology community around epigenetic factors such DNA methylation and chromosomal orientation and their affect on molecular pathway activity. In two recent posts, we highlighted a new tool for epigenetic analysis which was recognized as one of the most innovative new products of 2011. However, according to a recent study published in Nature Biotechnology, structural variations involving large scale changes in DNA sequences should be just as “buzz-worthy” as epigenetics.

In a review of this article, Wired Science wrote that structural variations in DNA are more specific to individuals than single nucleotide polymorphisms, and may be more responsible than SNPs for genetic difference among people.

Truth be told, epigenetic factors may play a big role in determining which DNA sequences will be modified by our molecular machinery, so perhaps epigenetics does in fact trump (or perhaps even define), structural makeup. One commentator notes that the wired article has nothing to do with epigenetics, however, based on what I’ve noted above, I’m not sure that he is correct.

What are your thoughts? What’s more buzz-worthy? Epigenetics or Genome Structure?

To read more visit Your Genome Structure, Not Genetic Mutations, Makes You Different

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