Genetics: One Of The Main Factors In The Epigenetics

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Epigenetics is one of the main topics studied in medical genetics today. Monozygotic twins are used to prove that differences in the epigenome due to certain factors are the reason why monozygotic twins change as they age. Genes provide the instructions for the development and maintenance of the body. There is a second set of instructions known as the epigenome, which interacts with DNA to suppress or activate the expression of some genes. Epigenetic tags turn genes off or on, without changing the genetic code. With monozygotic twins, the embryo contains the same genome and epigenome. Throughout the early years of life twins have a very similar epigenome as they share the same environment. As they age, their environments differ, and their genomes remain the same, but their epigenome act to silence of activate certain genes. Factors like diet, differences in physical activity, stress, and exposure to certain toxins can also influence the epigenome. So as monozygotic twins age their epigenomes and gene expressions end up being very different leading to two very different individuals. Introduction: Conrad H Waddington discovered the term epigenetics to describe the roles of genes in development and to solidify the fact that genes play a huge role and control development. So it was in the 1940’s that the term epigenetics was devised (Hallgrímsson & Hall, 2011; Morange, 2013). Epigenetics is known to describe the interaction between genetics and the environment around us describing the types of phenotypes during development. In present times, epigenetics more specifically relates to cellular modifications that may be heritable, however are unrelated to the DNA sequence changes and can be altered by environmental ... ... middle of paper ... ...ment and distinct lifestyle of one can directly interact with the genome to influence epigenetic change. These changes that we see may be reflected at various stages of a person’s life. With the increasing knowledge that we have today, epigenetics is understood better. New approaches can be thought of in order to be able to treat and diagnose certain human diseases. Although currently it is not exactly known whether or not monozygotic twins are exactly epigenetically identical at birth, further research needs to be done in order to gain more knowledge (Czyz et al., 2012). Monozygotic twins help create a clear understanding of the process of epigenetics; this could benefit us in the future. In the future the concept of epigenetics may help us find treatments for certain diseases mainly for the elderly, as epigenetics is known to change as one ages (Deepti, 2014).
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