Comment | Published:

A user's guide to the ambiguous word 'epigenetics'

Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology volume 19, pages 207208 (2018) | Download Citation

The term 'epigenetics' is currently ambiguous, over-encompassing and uncoupled from its historical roots. This reflects interests and insights that have developed over time. In this Comment, I propose that we stop using the word in isolation, and be explicit about which definition we are using to avoid ambiguity in its scientific and public use.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    The (dual) origin of epigenetics. Cold Spring Harb. Symp. Quant. Biol. 69, 67–70 (2004).

  2. 2.

    Epigenetics: The origins and evolution of a fashionable topic. Dev. Biol. 416, 249–254 (2016).

  3. 3.

    & Associating cellular epigenetic models with human phenotypes. Nat. Rev. Genet. 18, 441–451 (2017).

  4. 4.

    & Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: myths and mechanisms. Cell 157, 95–109 (2014).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Center for Epigenomics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1301 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

    • John M. Greally

Authors

  1. Search for John M. Greally in:

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to John M. Greally.

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nrm.2017.135

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing