Genetic variation in DNA often lead to a change in phenotype. But not all the time – why is that? Even inherited health conditions like cancer risk or neurodevelopmental diseases can vary in their intensity and progression for people that have the exact same genetic variation in their DNA. The reason is of course because of Epigenetics, or “above” genetics.
Historically, the word “epigenetics” was used to describe events that could not be explained by genetic principles. Conrad Waddington (1905–1975), who is given credit for coining the term (read more here: Conrad Waddington and the origin of epigenetics – http://jeb.biologists.org/content/218/6/816), defined epigenetics as “the branch of biology which studies the causal interactions between genes and their products, which bring the phenotype into being” (Waddington, 1942).
As an exciting research area that explores variation that is not coded in DNA, Epigenetics has already transformed our understanding of human health and disease, including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and much more! That’s why we are happy to announce our new module on Epigenetics now available on edu.t-bio.info. The module consists of four courses: Epigenetics 1 (Introduction to Epigenetics), Epigenetics 2 (Whole Genome Bisulfite Sequencing), Epigenetics 3 (Introduction to ChiP-Seq) and Epigenetics 4 (Non-Coding RNAs).
Epigenetics 1 is an introductory course that talks about various mechanism of gene expression regulation. These include DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs. It also sheds the light on how epigenetic regulations play an important role in a variety of human disorders and diseases.
Epigenetics 2 focuses on DNA methylation and how whole genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) can be used to analyze Epigenomic data. It covers in detail bisulfite sequencing library preparation steps and the workflow steps for analysis. At the end, you can practice these steps using a curated project on the T-BioInfo platform.
Epigenetics 3 is about histone modification and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing. In this course, you can learn about Chip-Seq, various types of histone modification and the role it plays in biological regulation. At the end of this course, you can also use the T-BioInfo platform to analyze an example dataset.
Finally, Epigenetics 4, is about non coding RNAs, including microRNA, lncRNA and genomic repeats.
We hope you will get a chance to check out these exciting new courses and explore other resources on edu.t-bio.info. Stay tuned for more exciting updates and reach out to us if you have any questions, suggestions or comments.