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Altered expression: Epigenetics and its influence on human development

By Dyani Lewis

Geneticist Dr Marnie Blewitt explains how epigenetics makes us more than just our genes and how gene inactivation can be crucial to our development.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

DYANI LEWIS
Hi, I'm Dyani Lewis, thanks for joining us. Our genetic make-up determines a lot about who we are. It determines whether we have blue eyes or brown, what blood group we are or whether we're a carrier of a condition like cystic fibrosis. But we're beginning to learn that we're far more than the sum of our genetic parts. Our genes only tell part of the story of who we are. Just as important as what genes we've inherited from our parents is how those genes are switched on and off throughout our lifetime. This complex system of genetic regulation has been the focus of the burgeoning field of epigenetics. To tell us all about epigenetics and its implications for our growth and development, I'm joined on Up Close today by geneticist, Dr Marnie Blewitt. Marnie heads a lab that studies epigenetics at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Welcome to Up Close Marnie.

MARNIE BLEWITT
Thanks Dyani, it's nice to be here.

DYANI LEWIS
Marnie, epigenetics seems to be quite a new field of study in the broader field of genetics. When did people start to become aware that genes weren't the whole story?

MARNIE BLEWITT
Well it was back in the 1940s...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.