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Medical Definition of Epigenetics

Epigenetics: 1. The study of heritable changes in gene function that occur without a change in the sequence of the DNA. For example:

  • The process of DNA methylation; and
  • The process of chromatin remodeling.

2. The study of certain processes that occur in embryonic development. For example:

  • X inactivation (the inactivation of one X chromosome in females); and
  • The phenomenon of gene silencing.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
Last Editorial Review: 9/14/2016

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