Epigenetics has recently become a popular explanation for complex diseases of unknown origin.  Epigenetics is the study of mechanisms that control how genes are switched ‘on’ and ‘off’ without any changes in the actual DNA of the cells.

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This resource provides information about epigenetics and health. The term ‘epigenetics’ (‘outside’ or ‘above’ genetics) was coined in the 1940s by Conrad Waddington, a biologist who was keen to understand how cells changed during development. At that time, scientists only understood that switching specific sets of genes on and off did not involve changing the primary DNA sequence, the linear arrangement of the DNA bases adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C) and guanine (G).

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