Encoding epigenesis

12 April 2013

John Stamatoyannoploulos
Department of Genome Sciences
University of Washington School of Medicine


Epigenesis – the programmed acquisition of definitive biological form though sequential differentiation of pluripotential living matter – has been an object of study and wonder since antiquity. Conrad Waddington astutely observed that "development is an historical process", capturing the intuition that in order to know where one is going, one has to know where one has been. Here I shall discuss whether developing cells generate "memories" of epigenesis and whether such information can be decoded from the living genomes of definitive cells.

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