Epigenomics is the study of the complete set of epigenetic modifications on the genetic material of a cell, known as the epigenome. The field is analogous to genomics and proteomics, which are the study of the genome and proteome of a cell. Epigenetic modifications are reversible modifications on a cellâ€™s DNA or histones that affect gene expression without altering the DNA sequence . Two of the most characterized epigenetic modifications are DNA methylation and histone modification. Epigenetic modifications play an important role in gene expression and regulation, and are involved in numerous cellular processes such as in differentiation/development and tumorigenesis . The study of epigenetics on a global level has been made possible only recently through the adaptation of genomic high-throughput assays and. Significance of Epigenomics: Epigenomics shares many commonalities with other genomics fields, in both methodology and in its abstract purpose. Epigenomics seeks to identify and characterize epigenetic modifications on a global level, similar to the study of the complete set of DNA in genomics or the complete set of proteins in a cell in proteomics . The logic behind performing epigenetic analysis on a global level is that inferences can be made about epigenetic modifications, which might not otherwise be possible through analysis of specific loci. As in the other genomics fields, epigenomics relies heavily on bioinformatics, which combines the disciplines of biology, mathematics and computer science . However while epigenetic modifications had been known and studied for decades, it is through these advancements in bioinformatics technology that have allowed analyses on a global scale. Many current techniques still draw on older methods, often adapting them to genomic assays as is described in the next section.
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This page was last updated on December 8, 2023