Epigenetics is considered by many to be the 'new genetics' because the realization that many biological phenomena are controlled not through gene mutations, but rather through reversible and heritable epigenetic processes that have opened up new paths for discovery. The biological processes impacted by epigenetics range from tissue/organ regeneration, X-chromosome inactivation, and stem cell differentiation to genomic imprinting and aging. The effects of epigenetics are vast and encompass lower organisms as well as humans. Aberrations of epigenetics influence many diseases involving but not limited to cancer, immune disorders, neurological and metabolic disorders, and imprinting diseases. Clinical intervention is already in place for some of these disorders and many novel epigenetic therapies are on the horizon. This comprehensive collection of reviews written by leaders in the field of epigenetics provides a broad view of this important and evolving topic.
From molecular mechanisms and epigenetic technology to discoveries in human disease and clinical epigenetics, the nature and applications of the science will be presented for those with interests ranging from the fundamental basis of epigenetics to therapeutic interventions for epigenetic-based disorders. This title offers contributions by leading international investigators involved in molecular research and clinical and therapeutic applications. It integrates methods and biological topics with basic and clinical discoveries. It includes coverage of new topics in epigenetics such as prions, regulation of long-term memory by epigenetics, metabolic aspects of epigenetics, and epigenetics of neuronal disorders.