Epigenetic Markers

Publish Date: 2011
Author(s): Mark Hanson, PhD

Abstract:

Epigenetic processes are fundamental to development because they permit a range of phenotypes to be formed from a genotype. Such processes confer Darwinian fitness because the changes are induced in part in response to external signals that indicate to the developing organism critical aspects of the environment in which it will live after birth. Unbalanced nutrition-both undernutrition and overnutrition-is a part of that environment. Hanson and Godfrey demonstrate how nutrition can have graded epigenetic effects on a wide panel of genes throughout development. The authors indicate that epigenetic changes measurable in early life may serve as valuable biomarkers of later risk of noncommunicable diseases and lead to interventions to reduce risk of those diseases.
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Author Bios

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Mark Hanson, Phd

University of Southampton, Division of Developmental Origins of Health & Disease, UK
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